Waterford Man Killed in Car Accident

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May 13, 2019
Edward Smith

Waterford Man Killed in Car Accident

A Waterford man was killed in a recent car accident along the Oakdale-Waterford Highway just north of Ellenwood Road. A woman was driving her 2004 Ford Explorer north along the highway shortly before 10:00 p.m. The Ford driver entered the oncoming traffic lane and drove into the path of a 2015 Nissan Versa, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). This resulted in a head-on collision. Paramedics responding to the scene transported the Ford driver and a passenger of the Nissan to the hospital, both for treatment of serious injuries. Sadly, the Nissan driver was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officials have identified the decedent as 20-year-old Edgar Gonzalez, a resident of Waterford and student of UC Merced. Our thoughts and prayers are with those mourning the loss of their loved one during this difficult time.

Car Accident Investigation

The exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined by authorities. However, a preliminary CHP report suggested that alcohol or drugs are believed to have played a factor in the collision and the Ford driver was placed under arrest. Information regarding the charges she will be facing has not yet been disclosed. Moreover, a GoFundMe account has been created by the family of Mr. Gonzalez to help cover his funeral and burial expenses.

Common Causes of Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision can occur for a wide array of reasons. These include drunk driving, fatigue, distracted driving, and more. Other issues such as poor warning signage and debris in the road that forces a motorist to enter another lane, can also cause a head-on crash. Regardless of the cause of the accident, serious injuries or even death can result.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by the negligence of another party or entity. Grounds for a wrongful death case include proving that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the decedent, he or she breached this duty and caused the incident in question. Establishing these elements are critical in recovering compensation.

What Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In some head-on collisions, the person involved may not survive the injuries he or she has suffered. When this happens, the family of the deceased may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is intended to hold those accountable for causing the death of someone else. They also ensure that surviving family members are compensated for their economic and noneconomic damages including:

  • Bills incurred by the deceased person for medical treatment received before death (recoverable in a survival action)
  • Expenses for a funeral and burial
  • Financial contributions and support the decedent would have supplied his or her family with
  • Loss of gifts and inheritance that would have been provided by the deceased person
  • Loss of society, companionship, and love
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

There is a strict amount of time for which a claim must be filed. This is the statute of limitations, which is two years for wrongful death in California. If the potential negligent party is a government entity, a claim must be filed within six months of the loss. Since specific criteria and deadlines must be met for these cases, speaking with an experienced attorney can help you and your family.

Should I Hire an Attorney for My Case?

When we lose someone we love, we experience a range of emotions. The grieving process involved can be long and challenging as well, especially when the death was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person. By hiring an experienced lawyer to pursue a claim for a wrongful death car accident, it may be possible to find closure and justice. While no amount of money can bring a loved one back, monetary compensation can help a grieving family plan for a secure future.

Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. Recovering from a head-on collision requires perseverance, dedication and time. However, recovering from the death of someone you love is not always easy. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a frontal crash due to the fault of someone else, I am here to provide you with free, friendly case advice. Please feel free to reach out to me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

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