Woman Killed in DUI Single-Vehicle Accident Near Madera

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January 01, 2020
Edward Smith

Woman Killed in Madera Single-Vehicle Accident

A woman was killed after a single-vehicle accident in Madera, CA on the night of December 28, 2019. The car accident occurred around 8:15 p.m. in the area of Almond Avenue and Knox Street. A 19-year-old man reportedly lost control of a sedan and crashed into a nearby storage facility, according to the Madera Police Department (MPD). Paramedics responding to the scene transported a female passenger to Madera Community Hospital and a male passenger to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Sadly, the female passenger succumbed to her injuries during hospitalization. Officials have identified her as Samantha Martinez, 20, of Madera.

Investigation of the Madera Single-Vehicle Accident

The MPD said the driver of the sedan was arrested and booked into Madera County Jail. He is expected to be charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence. It is not yet known whether he will be facing other charges for the incident.

Loss of a Loved One in a Madera Single-Vehicle Accident

As a surviving family member of a deceased relative, it may be challenging to think about what the future may be like without your loved one. You may be dealing with grief, unexpected expenses, and phone calls from insurance claims adjusters. The last thing that may be on your mind during this challenging time is to take legal action against the person responsible for your loved one’s sudden death. However, it is essential to protect your family’s legal rights and best interests in your time of loss, and an experienced wrongful death lawyer can do that for you.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death, as defined by California law, is the loss of life due to the negligence of another person or entity. In the case of a single-vehicle accident, liability for the incident may be assigned to more than one party. This includes a negligent driver, government entity, or vehicle manufacturer. Such accidents are often the result of driver error. However, they may be caused by a road defect such as lack of warning signage and potholes or an auto defect like faulty brakes. In any of these situations, a wrongful death claim may be filed against a negligent driver, government entity, or vehicle manufacturer for damages incurred. Keep in mind that a claim for wrongful death must be filed within two years from the date of the fatal accident. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. If the claim involves negligence on the part of a government agency, the filing deadline is shortened to six months or 180 days from the time of loss. This is why it is critical to retain an experienced attorney to ensure all filing criteria and statutory deadlines are met.

Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim is intended to compensate a family for the financial and intangible harms they have suffered due to their loved one’s unexpected death. These types of cases are generally paid by insurance companies of negligent drivers for economic and noneconomic damages incurred, including:

  • Costs of medical treatment incurred by the decedent before he or she passed away (this may be recovered through a survival action)
  • Expenses for a loved one’s funeral and burial
  • Loss of a loved one’s affection, care, companionship, and moral support
  • Loss of future financial support that would have been provided by the deceased loved one, which may include the remaining lifetime wages and earning potential of the decedent
  • Lost parental guidance and training for surviving children
  • Mental anguish and emotional suffering caused by a wrongful death car accident
  • Punitive damages may be awarded to the family of the decedent as a way of punishing the wrongdoer whose egregious misconduct (e.g., drunk driving or excessive speeding) caused the loved one’s wrongful death

Understanding the legal complexities of a wrongful death case may be challenging when coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. For a brief overview of these types of claims, watch the video below.

Why is Having a Madera Auto Accident Attorney Important?

After a wrongful death car accident, insurance companies may not be entirely genuine or transparent when it comes to fairly compensating a family for the loss of their loved one. This is due to their focus being on their bottom line, meaning they will use any defense tactic or strategy to limit the value of a wrongful death case, to protect their assets. Since their efforts are in direct conflict of a family’s goals and needs in their time of loss and sorrow, a Madera wrongful death lawyer is there to protect a family’s right to fair compensation with compassion and integrity.

Car Accident Lawyer in Madera

I’m Ed Smith, a Madera car accident lawyer. There is nothing that may ever prepare us for the unexpected death of someone we love. When that loss is caused by the negligence of someone else, it may be challenging to understand how and why this happened. While a wrongful death claim may not alleviate the pain of a loved one’s wrongful death, it may provide you and your family with the compensation and justice you need and deserve. If you have lost a loved one in a car crash caused by the fault of another driver or entity, please call me at (559) 377-7676 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

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I am a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates.

As a Madera car accident lawyer, I understand how devastating a wrongful death car accident is for any family. This is why my law office and I are dedicated to providing each and every family we help with the compassion and legal experience they need in their time of loss. To get an idea of how we have helped other families with their cases, go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Image Source: By “Kat Jayne” via Pexels

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