San Jose Man Killed After Car Accident in Merced County

Passenger Killed After Merced County Car Accident

A passenger was killed after a car accident on Highway 33 near Gustine, CA, in Merced County on the afternoon of April 22, 2020. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Los Banos area office responded to the crash on Highway 33 in the vicinity of Sullivan Road shortly before 4:30 p.m. A 25-year-old Santa Nella man was driving a 2017 Nissan Sentra southbound on State Route 33. At the same time, a 23-year-old San Jose woman was driving a 1996 Acura Integra northbound on the highway. The two vehicles were involved in a broadside collision, according to the CHP. The Nissan struck the passenger side door of the Acura, causing the man riding in the front passenger seat to suffer fatal injuries at the scene, the CHP reported. Officials have identified the decedent as 25-year-old Jesus Hernandez of San Jose. The Acura driver was transported to Los Banos Memorial Hospital for a complaint of pain. It is unknown whether the driver of the Nissan received treatment after the crash.

Loss of a Loved One

Losing someone you love after a car crash is devastating. Coming to terms with the loss can be a painful and traumatic experience that may be compounded when the death was the result of another person’s negligence. When this happens, surviving family members may be entitled to a wrongful death claim. A Merced wrongful death lawyer can help conduct an independent investigation on a family’s behalf to ensure they are awarded a fair settlement. While no amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of a loved one, it can help a family with holding negligent parties responsible for their wrongdoing and moving forward from their loss.

Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death for a Merced County Car Accident?

Wrongful death cases are often challenging as they entail multiple criteria, deadlines, and details. When a third party is involved, this can make the claims process even more difficult. Some third parties have high bodily injury liability insurance. This coverage serves to protect the negligent driver if a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit is filed against them. However, the car insurance company will likely not pay the case for what it’s worth since they are focused on their own best interests, which is protecting their bottom line. They may do so by disputing liability for the loss of a loved one, making the process even more stressful. In other cases, the at-fault party may not have enough insurance to cover a loved one’s wrongful death or none in the worst circumstances. When this happens, surviving family members may turn to their loved one’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or their own, to cover damages incurred. While the claim may be covered under their insurance, this does not necessarily mean that insurance companies will be on the family’s side when it comes to fair compensation. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Merced can handle negotiations with insurance companies on a family’s behalf to allow them the time they need to grieve and recover from their loss.

Who Can a Merced Wrongful Death Attorney Represent?

Only specific people are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit for recovery of funeral and burial expenses, lost future financial support, loss of a loved one’s care, companionship, and guidance, among other damages. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • The surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the decedent
  • The surviving putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents if the victim is not survived by a spouse, domestic partner, or child
  • If none of the family members listed above are existent, then anyone that is entitled to the decedent’s property under intestate succession may file for wrongful death.

For more details on who can file a claim for a loved one’s wrongful death, watch the video below.

The Importance of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The sudden loss of a close relative in a car accident can painfully impact the entire family. No amount of money can ever compensate surviving family members for such loss. In many cases, the thought of filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be too much to consider. When a family decides not to seek legal representation, this may compound the grieving process by not obtaining the justice and compensation they need and deserve. Without this, negligent parties will not be held financially accountable for their actions, and the family may miss out on the financial recovery that can provide them with the financial security they need to rebuild their lives. At, we understand the confusion, pain, and anger that may come with the wrongful death of a loved one as a result of a car accident. This is why we are dedicated to helping those affected by recovering the justice and compensation they need to move forward from their loss.

Merced Wrongful Death Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death lawyer. The sudden death of a close relative is one of the most devastating tragedies a family can endure. If you and your family are coping with the tragic loss of a loved one, please give me a call at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly advice.

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Since 1982, we have been serving people in Merced and surrounding cities by taking great care in working on behalf of surviving family members coping with the wrongful death of a loved one. To see how we have helped others affected by a wrongful death car accident, go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Picture Credit: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay

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