UC Merced Student Fatally Injured in Bay Area Accident

UC Merced Student Fatally Injured in Bay Area Accident

UC Merced Student Fatally Injured in Bay Area Accident

I’m Ed Smith, a Merced personal injury and car accident lawyer. An engineering student from UC Merced and his sister were driving together in San Jose on the night of April 28, 2018. The student was driving his black 2005 Hyundai southbound along Highway 280 in the vicinity of Highway 87 when his vehicle crashed for unknown reasons. The siblings exited the vehicle and walked to the center divider after the collision. A 2014 Nissan Altima was approaching the accident scene and attempted to avoid the Hyundai by veering to the left but their efforts were unsuccessful. The Nissan struck the Hyundai, causing the Nissan to lose control and collide with the two siblings. The brother and sister were transported to an area hospital and both, unfortunately, succumbed to their injuries the following morning. The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner has identified the victims as 21-year-old Leo Cabrera and 24-year-old Blanca Cabrera.

I send my sincere condolences to those mourning the loss of their loved ones during this difficult time.

Accidents Involving Disabled Vehicles

An accident is typically defined as an unforeseen event that occurs outside of a party’s negligence or fault. However, that is not always the case. Drivers are obligated to exercise due care when there is a traffic collision, road emergency or disabled vehicle with hazards lights ahead. Traffic accidents, particularly those involving disabled vehicles, occur frequently due to:

  • Distracted driving involves any type of distraction affecting a motorist’s attention to the road and their surroundings. While distracted driving is usually linked to texting and driving, other distractions may include eating or drinking, taking photographs, adjusting your stereo or navigation system and reaching for your cellular device. This negligent driving habit is increasing in prevalence, notably in auto accidents, as 391,000 parties suffered injuries and 3,450 individuals were killed in traffic accidents involving distracted motorists in 2015 (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
  • Drunk driving, as defined by California state law, considers any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher to be legally impaired. This negligent driving habit is dangerous as the effects of alcohol-use can significantly impair a motorist’s judgment, alertness, memory, reasoning and coordination. In 2016, drunk driving accidents caused 10,497 people to lose their lives and accounted for 28 percent of all traffic deaths in the country (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
  • Speeding has been determined as a leading cause in nearly one-third of all traffic accident fatalities for more than two decades. In 2016, the last year for which comprehensive accident data is available, speeding contributed to 27 percent of all fatal collisions and claimed the lives of 10,111 individuals (according to the National Highway Safety Administration).

When a motorist fails to stop in time to avoid a collision with a disabled vehicle or people in the road, the consequences can be traumatic or even fatal. If this has happened to you or someone you love, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney in Merced to secure your right to fair compensation.

How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help

In California, a wrongful death is defined as the loss of an individual’s life due to the wrongful act or negligence by another party or entity. Family members of a deceased person may present a civil lawsuit against a negligent individual for the death of their loved one. Those that meet the requirements of California Civil Code of Procedure Section 377.60 may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover the following damages:

  • Costs of a funeral and burial;
  • Deprivation of companionship, love and guidance offered by the decedent;
  • Fees for legal representation;
  • Loss of future financial support, inheritance and benefits;
  • Medical costs prior to the victim’s passing;
  • Pain and suffering.

Loved One Forever Remembered

Leo Cabrera was a senior engineering and computer science major at UC Merced. He was an active member of various communities including the Association of Computing Machinery, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Ingenieros Unidos. He will be forever missed by those who surrounded him as a dedicated student, kindhearted soul and giving member of the community. A GoFundMe account has been created to raise funds for the cost of his funeral.

Merced Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Merced personal injury and car accident lawyer. Suffering injuries from a motor vehicle accident is traumatic, especially when compounded by accumulating medical costs and lost wages. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please do not hesitate to give me a call at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly case advice.

Since 1982, I have assisted residents of Merced and the surrounding area in retrieving fair compensation for their traumatic injury and wrongful death claims.

My client feedback is available for your convenience at:

I have obtained $1 million awards on behalf of my clients in settlement negotiations and trial verdicts. Because of this, I have been inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates as a California member.

Please feel free to browse our past Verdicts and Settlements.

Photograph Courtesy: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay

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