Stockton Woman Killed in Manteca Crash
A Stockton woman was killed in a Manteca crash involving two vehicles on the night of June 9, 2019. The car wreck happened at the intersection of Buena Vista Drive and Woodward Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m. Manteca Police officers responding to the scene were informed that a driver and passenger were believed to have fled the scene on foot. The motorist of the other car in the accident remained at the scene. Authorities then found a woman in the abandoned vehicle suffering from serious injuries. She was taken to the hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. Officials from the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office have identified the decedent as 37-year-old Racquel Macias of Stockton. I would like to send my thoughts and prayers to the family of Ms. Macias in their time of loss.
Investigation of the Manteca Crash Fatality
A preliminary report by the Manteca Police Department (MPD) suggested that officers established a perimeter in the area to locate those who left the scene. Unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful. Anyone who has information about the hit and run accident is encouraged to contact MPD at (209) 456-8101.
Does Insurance Cover Hit and Run Accidents?
Leaving the scene of an auto accident is a criminal offense in California. It can be a misdemeanor if property damage is involved or a felony if injury or death were suffered as a result. Conversely, some motorists are willing to take the risk since they may be driving under the influence, driving on a suspended driver’s license, or driving without auto insurance. In these cases, an injured person or family of a decedent may seek recourse through their own car insurance policy. This is possible if they carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance typically helps pay for damages incurred in a hit and run, even if the offending driver is not located. Although a claim is being brought against your own insurance policy, this does not necessarily mean your insurer will be on your side. Insurance companies may use tactics to avoid paying for a claim. In these situations, it is essential to have an experienced Stockton personal injury lawyer at your side to ensure you receive a favorable recovery for your case.
What Would Be Considered a Wrongful Death?
The unexpected loss of a loved one can devastate a family both financially and emotionally. However, when that loss was caused by the negligence of someone else, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation. Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, specific members of a decedent’s family may be eligible to file for wrongful death and pursue financial recovery. This includes the spouse, domestic partner, or children of the decedent. If such parties do not exist, then a case may be pursued by financial dependents of the deceased such as stepchildren, parents, putative spouse, and the putative spouse’s children. Conversely, those who may be entitled to the decedent’s property may also pursue a case by intestate succession. For more details on who can file a wrongful death action, watch the below video.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death in a Hit and Run?
As with any hit and run case, negligence must be proven on the part of another driver. This can be shown through four elements of negligence, including:
- Duty of Care: The negligent driver owed a duty of care to the deceased
- Breach of Duty: The at-fault motorist breached that duty of care through a negligent act
- Causation: The liable person’s actions were the proximate cause of the resulting death
- Damages: The family of a decedent has a burden to demonstrate that they suffered some type of loss due to the other person’s breach of duty
What Damages Are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Once liability has been established in a fatal hit and run, surviving family members may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. This type of case compensates a family for economic and noneconomic damages they may have suffered, including:
- Costs of a funeral and burial
- Medical expenses related to the wrongful death car accident
- Lost inheritance and benefits such as medical insurance or pension
- Loss of financial support for the family
- Loss of love, affection, comfort, companionship, and society
- Mental anguish and emotional pain suffered by survivors
- Value of necessary and reasonable household services that were provided by the deceased
Do I Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Coming to terms with an unexpected death in the family can be devastating. In times like these, a family needs guidance and compassion they can trust from an experienced Stockton wrongful death attorney. A lawyer can answer questions and discuss what legal options a family has for recovery. Although no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, a wrongful death lawsuit can help ease the financial stress survivors may experience.
Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton personal injury lawyer. Suffering catastrophic injuries or losing someone you love in a hit and run accident can leave a void that can never be filled. However, a person can still be held responsible when his or her negligence has led to the injury or death of someone else. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Stockton hit and run caused by the fault of another, I am here to provide you compassionate, free, and friendly case advice. Please give me a call at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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