Two Killed After Big Rig Crash on Interstate 5 in Merced County

Two Killed After Truck Accident in Merced County

Two people were killed, and another was injured after a truck accident on Interstate 5 in Merced County, CA, on the afternoon of Saturday, July 11, 2020. The big rig crash occurred around 4:30 p.m. on northbound I-5 near the John “Chuck” Erreca Northbound Rest Area. The Los Banos California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that traffic on the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 had slowed and eventually came to a stop. A tractor-trailer reportedly failed to stop and rear-ended a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedan, killing the driver, 63-year-old Joseph Haddad, and passenger, 53-year-old Brenda Haddad, both of Contra Costa County. The Chevrolet was propelled into another car and that impact, in turn, allegedly caused a pileup.

A CHP spokesman said seven vehicles in all were involved in the fatal trucking collision and one driver was transported to the hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. During the cleanup and preliminary investigation, traffic on northbound I-5 was diverted onto Nees Avenue. A GoFundMe page has been created on behalf of the Haddad family to help cover their loved one’s final resting expenses.

Losing a Loved One to Wrongful Death

If you are someone who has lost a child, spouse, parent, or another close relative in a fatal truck accident, you may seek justice and compensation for your loss through a wrongful death claim. A Merced wrongful death lawyer understands the pain you may be experiencing during this time and is here to offer you compassionate support and guidance. An attorney can also help answer the many questions that you may have about the wrongful death claims process and types of recoverable damages.

What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Fatal Truck Accident Case in Merced County?

The value of a settlement for a wrongful death claim will vary on several factors, including the extent of the losses and the amount of insurance coverage available. Truck drivers and trucking firms are required by laws set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to carry commercial insurance policies, which can range from $750,000 to millions of dollars, depending on whether the commercial truck is delivering hazardous or non-hazardous materials. Due to high policy limits, insurance companies representing truckers and truck companies will do everything they can to pay as little as possible on wrongful death accident cases. This is their way of minimizing their financial liability. However, California law recognizes how devastating losing a loved one in a truck accident is and provides survivors with legal recourse for recovery of the following wrongful death damages:

  • Costs related to funeral and burial services for a lost loved one
  • Expenses for accident-related medical care received by the decedent before they passed away
  • Loss of affection, guidance, companionship, and services
  • Lost future financial support, benefits, and anticipated inheritances the deceased would have provided to the family if not for the wrongful death truck accident
  • Mental anguish and emotional trauma associated with the wrongful death of a close relative
  • Punitive damages may be awarded in a wrongful death case by a jury if the death was the result of egregious conduct, like excessive speeding, DUI, etc.

Watch the video below if you would like to know more about the wrongful death claims process:

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Support Your Family

Losing someone you love is devastating, especially when it was the result of someone else’s negligence. At, our Merced wrongful death attorneys are ready to help you and your family through this difficult time. You do not have to worry about collecting evidence to support your wrongful death truck accident case or making phone calls: we will do all of that for you. Since we handle wrongful death cases on a contingent fee basis, you also do not have to worry about paying any upfront fees unless we recover fair compensation on your behalf.

Wrongful Death Lawyer in Merced

I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death lawyer. Commercial truck accidents are an unfortunate reality in Merced County and across California. The overwhelming size and weight of commercial trucks represent a significant risk of injury or death to others on the road. The possibility of pileups is also high. Big rig crashes can be challenging and often involve more than one party. If you have been injured or lost a loved one after a truck accident in the Merced area, I can provide compassionate, free, and friendly advice on your situation. Call (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 to discuss your personal injury or wrongful death truck accident case.

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I am proud to be listed as a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Since 1982, we have represented many families who have been in your shoes. We know how challenging it is to move forward with a wrongful death claim and will guide you and your family throughout the process. To see how we have helped other families by taking the legal burden off their shoulders and securing the favorable case outcome they deserve, go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.

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