One Killed in Merced County Head-On Collision
One person was killed, and another was left with serious injuries in a Merced County head-on collision on the early morning of October 7, 2019. The crash occurred along Highway 165 near Los Banos just south of the San Joaquin River, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported. Authorities said a southbound 2019 Honda Civic was involved in a head-on collision with a northbound 1995 Honda Civic shortly before 4:20 a.m. The motorist of the 2019 Honda, a 25-year-old Keyes man, was transported via air ambulance to the Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment of critical injuries. Sadly, the driver of the 1995 Honda succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Officials have withheld his identity until his family has been notified.
Wrongful Death in a Merced County Head-On Collision
Wrongful death is defined as a loss of life that is caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless act. When this happens, this may serve as a basis for a civil action for wrongful death damages on behalf of surviving family members. In the case of a car accident, several parties may be found liable. This includes an auto manufacturer for faulty vehicle design and equipment, a government entity for a road defect, or a negligent driver. To recover compensation in a wrongful death claim, the following elements of negligence must be proven:
- Duty of Care: Surviving family members must show that the negligent party owed a duty of care to the deceased at the time of the wrongful death car accident
- Breach of Duty: It must be proven through evidence that the at-fault individual breached their duty of care through an act of negligence or misconduct
- Causation: After establishing a breach of duty, survivors must demonstrate that their loved one’s death was the direct result of the individual’s wrongful act
- Damages: Financial and emotional losses resulted from the wrongful death of the family member
A wrongful death case may be challenging to litigate. Such cases require the production of compelling evidence to persuade a judge and a jury that surviving family members should be compensated for their loss. This is why a family must seek legal counsel promptly to ensure negligent parties are held financially responsible for a loved one’s death. To learn more about these types of cases, watch the video listed below.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a family member is lost due to the misconduct or negligence of another, survivors may be able to claim compensation for their losses. A wrongful death attorney working on the family’s behalf often retains financial analysts and expert economists to evaluate and prove the extent of economic and noneconomic damages incurred, such as:
- Expenses for a loved one’s funeral and burial services
- Loss of a loved one’s future financial support
- Loss of gifts and benefits survivors would have received from the deceased
- Loss of advice, assistance, love, companionship, and protection the family would have received if the decedent was alive
- Lost parental guidance and training for surviving children
- The reasonable value of household services provided by the decedent to the family, like lawn maintenance and childcare
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Action?
In the state of California, surviving spouses, domestic partners, and children may seek monetary damages to compensate for their lost emotional and financial support. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. Others who were financially dependent on the deceased may also be able to file a claim, such as parents, stepchildren, putative spouses, and children of the putative spouse. To determine your eligibility for a wrongful death action, reach out to an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Merced.
How Can an Attorney Help Our Family?
A family may experience substantial emotional trauma and financial difficulties following the wrongful death of a loved one. Insurance companies may take advantage of a grieving family’s vulnerable situation by finding ways of diminishing the value of a wrongful death claim or denying it altogether. An experienced attorney will not allow for any of that. A lawyer will work on a family’s behalf to ensure their best interests are protected while they focus on grieving from their loved one’s untimely passing.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Merced
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death attorney. When you lose a loved one to the reckless and negligent behavior of another driver or entity, you have the right to claim wrongful death damages. An experienced attorney may be able to help you and your family through this difficult time. Please feel free to call me anytime at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly case advice.
See what our past clients have had to say about working with our law office at the following links:
I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. The first group recognizes attorneys who have won over $1 million for a client. The other organization recognizes those attorneys who exhibit high standards of excellence in their practice of law.
I have helped many Merced County families with obtaining fair compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death cases. To see how our law firm has helped other families with their cases, go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.
Photo Source: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay
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