Two Killed in Fresno County Truck Accident
Two people were killed in a Fresno County truck accident on the morning of August 21, 2019. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the crash occurred at the intersection of West Shaw Avenue and North San Diego Avenue, just south of Firebaugh. For reasons not yet known, an SUV was involved in a collision with a big rig hauling a double trailer. Sadly, the driver and passenger of the SUV passed away at the scene. The Fresno County Coroner’s Office has identified one of the decedents as 20-year-old Zachary Sanchez, a resident of Sacramento.
Losing a Family Member in a Fresno County Truck Accident
In the time after an unexpected death in the family, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by grief, notifying family members, and making final arrangements. As more details about the crash and the cause of death are collected, you may feel angry and frustrated when you find out the accident could have been prevented altogether. The last thing on your mind should be to deal with unsympathetic insurers for a negligent trucker or trucking company. Since insurance companies are focused on their bottom line, you and your family may need an experienced attorney to guide you through the challenging claims process. An attorney knows how to overcome tactics used by insurance claims adjusters to limit how much they pay for a fatal truck accident. This way, you and your family can focus on recovering from your loved one’s passing without legal or financial worry.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is defined as the loss of a loved one due to a negligent or careless act. A wrongful death claim may be filed by the family of the decedent to recover the economic and noneconomic damages they have suffered. These include:
- Costs for a funeral and burial
- Loss of parental advice, guidance, and training for surviving children
- Medical expenses incurred by a family member for a fatal crash
- Mental anguish resulting from a loved one’s wrongful death
- Punitive damages are available in cases involving egregious acts committed by a negligent truck driver or truck company. Keep in mind that these damages are intended only to punish the wrongdoer from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
- Value of lost future earnings, benefits, and household services the deceased would have provided to the family had the wrongful death car accident not occurred. These may be calculated by an economist or other qualified witnesses.
A wrongful death claim may be challenging to understand while coping with the grieving process. For a breakdown on these cases, watch this video.
When Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In most wrongful death truck accidents, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in California is two years from the date of a loved one’s passing. This is by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. If survivors attempt to file a case after the deadline has passed, they may be barred from doing so, and their right to recover damages may be lost.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
In California, specific relatives are allowed to file a wrongful death suit. Only the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased are generally entitled to wrongful death benefits. If such parties are no longer alive, any family member who was financially dependent on the deceased may also be eligible to file. This includes parents, putative spouses, and stepchildren. If you are looking to file a wrongful death claim but unsure if you have the grounds to do so, contact an experienced Fresno wrongful death lawyer. A seasoned attorney has the answers and legal representation you and your family needs.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Fresno
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno wrongful death attorney. The unexpected loss of a loved one is a devastating and heartwrenching experience that far too many families have to endure. If you have lost a family member to a truck accident due to the negligence of a trucker or trucking company, please call me at (559) 377-7676 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly advice.
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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. The first organization recognizes attorneys from around the country who strive to provide clients with the highest standards of legal excellence. The other group is composed of trial lawyers who have garnered over $1 million for a past client through a case settlement or verdict.
Learn more about our law office and cases we have handled in the past for our clients by visiting our Verdicts and Settlements page.
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