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Woman Charged with DUI for Fatal Wrong-Way Crash in Fresno County

Driver Charged for Fatal DUI Crash in Fresno County

A driver has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other counts after a recent fatal DUI crash in Fresno County. A 33-year-old Hayfork woman was arrested on November 10 after the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that she allegedly caused a wrong-way crash involving four vehicles on Highway 41. The fatal car accident occurred at approximately 8:45 p.m. on State Route 41, just south of Harlan Avenue near the Laton area. The Hayfork woman was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet pickup truck and reportedly entered the oncoming traffic lane of SR-41 and collided head-on with a Honda Civic. Sadly, the Honda driver, 23-year-old Joel Carillo of Clovis, was killed in the four-vehicle collision. A Ford Mustang veered off the roadway to avoid a collision with the Chevrolet and collided with a metal fence as a result. The driver and passenger of the Ford were uninjured in the incident. A driver and passenger in the fourth vehicle involved, identified as a Buick, complained of pain but were not hospitalized for their injuries, officials said.

The Hayfork woman was taken into custody by CHP traffic officials after the collision on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Authorities said she suffered injuries described as moderate from the wreck. Prosecutors on November 13 accused her of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated as well as DUI, driving without a valid license, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, driving while addicted to a drug, and DUI causing great bodily injury. Further details on the case were not immediately available.

Loss of a Loved One in a Wrongful Death Car Accident

As wrongful death and car accident lawyers, we understand that nothing is more heartbreaking than suddenly losing a loved one because someone else was reckless or negligent. When a reckless or negligent driver gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, tragic wrongful death may likely occur. The term wrongful death is legally defined in California as the loss of life due to negligence. In the case of a fatal car accident, a wrongful death claim would be filed against the insurance company representing the at-fault party. Such cases are intended to make a family whole after their loss and to help them from suffering financial hardship resulting from their loved one’s wrongful death. Families affected by such situations may rely on the services of an experienced Fresno wrongful death attorney to help file a wrongful death claim on their behalf and protect their best interests from difficult insurance companies.

Is There Enough Insurance to Cover a Fatal Fresno County DUI Crash?

In cases where multiple vehicles and parties are involved in a crash caused by a DUI driver, the question of “is there enough insurance?” often comes to mind. Since there may be only one party found at fault for the incident, there may not be enough bodily injury liability coverage for all parties involved, including the decedent and their surviving family members. Under such circumstances, the family of the decedent and other parties involved in the incident may use their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) to cover damages not fully covered by the driver responsible for the fatal DUI crash in Fresno County. While the wrongful death claim will be handled with their insurer, that does not necessarily mean that the insurance carrier will be fair about the amount of compensation they offer to the injured parties and families of decedents. A Fresno wrongful death attorney can negotiate a full and fair settlement on behalf of surviving family members. For details on what to look for in the best wrongful death attorney in Fresno to handle your claim, watch the video below.

Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Accident Case

Aside from economic damages for financial losses and non-economic damages for intangible losses, surviving family members may seek punitive damages from the at-fault party to punish them for their egregious conduct. In the context of a fatal motor vehicle accident, a Fresno wrongful death attorney from may seek punitive damages from the driver responsible for the wreck if they were excessively speeding or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate surviving family members for their loss and are not usually covered by insurance companies. Instead, they are generally sought from the at-fault party as a way of punishing them for their wrongdoing and to deter them and others in the community from engaging in similar behavior. They may be awarded at the discretion of the court in a wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Attorney in Fresno

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno wrongful death attorney. The loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident is devastating for the family left behind. If you have lost someone you love in a crash caused by someone else, call our law firm for compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400. We can determine your best options for recovery and justice moving forward.

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