Stockton Man Killed in Madera Auto Accident
A Stockton man was killed in a Madera auto accident on the morning of May 12, 2019. The incident occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m. along the northbound lanes of Highway 99 near the interchange for State Route 152. A driver of a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu attempted to merge westbound onto SR 152 when he lost control of his vehicle, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported. The Chevrolet crashed into a metal guard rail and cement barrier before becoming airborne and overturning several times. The vehicle later came to a rest on its wheels facing south. The three occupants inside the Chevrolet were all ejected from the car. The motorist was transported to the hospital for treatment of moderate injuries while one of his passengers sitting in the back seat was hospitalized for serious injuries. Sadly, the front seat passenger succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The CHP said that the identity of the decedent will be made available after his family has been notified. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the man who lost his life in this devastating accident.
Common Reasons for Single-Vehicle Accidents
Understanding how and why single vehicle crashes occur can help you stay safe on the road. The most common causes of collisions involving only one car include:
- Drunk Driving: Alcohol and drug consumption can compromise a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Impairment also increases the risk of problems with judgment, reduced reflexes, and less coordination. An intoxicated motorist can get into a car wreck if they lose control of the vehicle and veers off the road, overturns, or strikes a fixed object.
- Fatigue: Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence. Motorists who feel sleepy may have difficulty concentrating or even fall asleep at the wheel.
- Speeding: Driving too fast for road conditions or above the posted speed limit can increase the chance of a motorist losing control of a car. A rollover accident can occur when a driver takes a curve too fast while speeding along wet roads, which can lead to spinning, hydroplaning, and colliding with other vehicles or fixed objects. It is also more difficult for someone who is driving too fast to adjust their speed to changing roadway conditions such as slowed or stopped traffic or an animal darting into the road.
- Road Defects: Some single-vehicle crashes stem from hazards in the road. These include insufficient warning signage, inadequate road lighting, loose gravel, debris in the roadway, and potholes. In cases involving poor roadway conditions, the government may be held financially responsible for subsequent losses.
- Vehicle Defects: Dangerous and faulty vehicle parts such as tire blowouts or defective brakes can cause single-vehicle crashes. Faulty vehicle design like insufficient roof crush resistance in a rollover accident can also lead to catastrophic injuries or death for those involved. Since auto manufacturers are required to follow federal safety standards for vehicle parts and design, a products liability claim may be filed against a manufacturer who fails to do so for resulting damages.
Compensation in Single Vehicle Accidents
As a passenger, you are placing your life in the hands of the person controlling the steering wheel. If he or she fails to operate the vehicle safely and causes a single-vehicle collision, you may be eligible to seek personal injury damages from that driver. While this could be a family member or friend, this should not stop you from seeking reimbursement for your losses. Generally, these are covered by the insurance company in a personal injury case, not by the driver behind the wheel.
Is There Enough Insurance?
When multiple passengers are involved in a single vehicle accident, this can raise concerns on whether there is enough insurance to cover everyone’s losses. This is especially true when a fatality is involved. In such cases, an injured person or surviving family members of a deceased individual may seek recourse through their own car insurance policy. This option is only possible if they have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Damages can be paid under this type of coverage if someone is injured or killed in an auto accident caused by someone who has little to no insurance.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when unexpected. If the death was caused by the negligent acts of another, a wrongful death claim might be filed by the family of the deceased against the at-fault party for damages incurred. These include:
- Any medical or hospital expenses related to the wrongful death car accident
- Costs of a loved one’s funeral and burial
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental guidance and companionship
- Services the deceased person would have provided had he or she lived such as childcare, lawn maintenance, and preparation of taxes
- Wage loss, including any wages the decedent would have expected to earn in the future, had the fatal accident not happened
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
When the life of your loved one has been claimed by the negligence of another party or entity, you may be able to collect financial compensation for your loss. Those who have questions concerning the wrongful death of their loved one can seek advice from an experienced Stockton personal injury lawyer. Most injury lawyers offer free consultations where they can advise a person whether they have a claim or not. If the attorney can take on the case, they can help handle negotiations with the insurance company on the family’s behalf. Since most attorneys take in cases on a contingency basis, this means a family can focus on grieving from their loved one’s death without financial worry. A fee is only to be paid if a successful conclusion is obtained in the case.
Stockton Personal Injury Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton personal injury attorney. Suffering injuries or losing a loved one in a single vehicle accident is devastating. One’s suffering can be compounded if the death was caused by the negligence of another party or entity. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident due to the fault of someone else, I am here to provide you with compassionate, free, and friendly advice. Please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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Photo Source: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay / Stockton Man Killed in Madera Auto Accident
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