Two Killed in Merced County Head-On Collision
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death attorney. A head-on collision near Merced claimed the lives of two parties and left several others with injuries on June 24, 2018. At approximately 5:20 in the evening, a man driving a 1992 Mazda pickup truck was traveling northbound along Highway 59 in the vicinity of Canton Road. The Mazda driver was attempting to overtake a big rig but reportedly failed to pass in time and collided head-on with a southbound 2012 Toyota Sienna van. Unfortunately, the accident caused the Mazda driver and a passenger of the Toyota to suffer fatal injuries at the scene. Officials have identified the victims as 31-year-old Jose Alvarado Panigua of El Nido and 84-year-old Victoria Hernandez of Rancho Cucamonga.
I would like to extend my sincere thoughts and sympathies to those grieving the loss of their loved ones during this heart-wrenching time.
Nature of Injuries
The Mazda driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident while the Toyota carried seven occupants, including four adolescents all under the age of 12.
One of the children, identified as an 11-year-old, was transported via air ambulance to the Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera for treatment of serious injuries. A 40-year-old passenger of the Toyota also suffered significant injuries in the collision and was flown by emergency air services to the Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto.
The other three children were taken to an area hospital with minor injuries as was the Toyota driver. An update on the conditions of the injured parties has not been released publicly by officials.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has not yet decided an exact cause of the accident. However, preliminary reports by CHP suggest high speeds and unsafe passing may have played as factors in the fatal collision.
In California, a wrongful death means that a person passed away as a result of a wrongful act or negligence by another party or entity. When a wrongful death occurs, surviving members of the victim’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit against those found responsible for their loved one’s death.
What You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Damages for wrongful death may be available to those directly related to the decedent under California Code of Civil Procedure section 337.60. The following may be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the death
- End-of-life medical care can be recovered in a survival action (e.g. the decedent suffered severe injuries in an accident and passed away a short time later during hospitalization)
- Funeral and burial costs
- Future lost income
- Loss of support and household services the decedent would have supplied the family
- Loss of affection, companionship, and love
- Lost benefits like retirement the decedent would have received had they lived
Watch YouTube Video – By Attorney Ed Smith – What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
By viewing the following video, you can learn who is eligible to file this type of claim and what type of financial compensation may be available in the event of a loved one’s passing.
Time Limit in Filing for Wrongful Death in California
A wrongful death claim in California must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is typically two years from the date of an individual’s passing. If the death was the result of government negligence, the statute is drastically shortened to 180 days or 6 months. When meeting deadlines for filing such claims, it is important to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Merced to protect your right to fair compensation of your loved one’s death.
Merced Wrongful Death Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death attorney. If you have lost someone you love due to negligence by another party or entity, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death claim. While this may not bring your loved one back, it can help with expenses like costs of a funeral and burial. Please feel free to contact me any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free and friendly legal advice.
To learn more about my legal practice, go to the following links to read ratings and comments written by my former clients:
The Million Dollar Advocates is a forum composed of trial lawyers from around the nation who have secured settlements and verdicts in excess of one million dollars. I belong to this association as a member of California.
To see how I resolved some of my previous cases, visit my Verdicts and Settlements page.
Image Attribution: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons
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