Woman Killed in Merced County Hit and Run

Woman Killed in Merced County Hit and Run

A Dos Palos woman was killed, and a man suffered critical injuries in a Merced County hit and run accident on the night of August 4, 2019. The incident occurred shortly after 9:10 p.m. at Arroya Avenue and Linden Road. A 41-year-old Dos Palos man was riding a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250cc motorcycle with a female passenger in the area. A black Honda was stopped at a stop sign and reportedly entered the intersection in the path of the biker, causing a collision. The Honda driver allegedly left the scene before the arrival of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Authorities said the Dos Palos man and woman were both propelled from the bike due to the motorcycle accident. The Dos Palos man suffered a leg fracture. Sadly, his female passenger was declared deceased at the scene. The decedent has been identified by officials as 38-year-old Esmeralda Valencia of Dos Palos. We would like to send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the family of Ms. Valencia during this difficult time.

Loved One Forever Remembered

Esmeralda “Mela” Valencia was a beloved member of her family. The mother of four will be forever remembered by those who knew and loved her for her big heart. A GoFundMe page has been set up by the family of Ms. Valencia to cover her funeral expenses.

Losing a Loved One in a Merced County Hit and Run

Coping with the loss of a loved one may be challenging. This is especially true for those who have lost a family member in a preventable hit and run accident. While grief is normal to experience, it may be compounded with anger and frustration when the death was caused by negligence. Mourning such losses takes time for families. In such situations, families should seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to protect their legal rights while they grieve and recover from their loss.

Does Insurance Cover a Merced County Hit and Run?

A hit and run may be extremely stressful and frustrating. Such incidents can leave those affected with emotional and financial hardship, especially if a loved one has passed away. If authorities can track down the responsible driver, there may be some options available for recovery. However, chances are that motorist may have little to no liability insurance given they left the scene without fully identifying themselves or rendering aid to those injured. In most cases, it is best to go through your own insurance policy for recovery if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. This type of insurance may help cover losses caused by a driver who has insufficient insurance coverage or none at all. For more details, contact an experienced attorney.

Wrongful Death in a Merced County Hit and Run

In California, specific family members may file a wrongful death claim against all negligent parties or entities as covered under their insurance policies. Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased are entitled to compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death. Others may also be eligible to file such as a decedent’s putative spouse, parents, or stepchildren. Any of the parties mentioned previously may seek recovery of the following:

  • Expenses for a loved one’s end-of-life medical treatment and funeral services may be recovered by the family member who paid for them
  • Emotional pain and mental anguish due to the loss of a loved one
  • Household services that were performed by the deceased may be considered for reimbursement. This may include childcare or lawn maintenance.
  • Loss of love, affection, companionship, and moral support provided by the family member
  • Loss of a deceased parent’s training, care, and guidance are recoverable
  • Lost inheritance for the expected value the decedent would have added to their estate in a lifetime
  • Lost financial support and benefits the decedent would have provided to the family had they lived

Watch the below video for more information on wrongful death claims.

Is Hiring a Lawyer Worth It?

The process for uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, particularly those involving hit and runs, tend to be challenging to navigate. Families who have lost a loved one to such incidents may be left with many, unanswered questions. Insurance companies may also take advantage of a grieving family’s vulnerable position by using any loopholes to diminish the value of a claim or deny it altogether. This is why it is critical to retain a Merced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can conduct an independent investigation of the crash by collecting and preserving vital evidence. This way, the attorney can act quickly to begin building a strong case for fair compensation, while a family focuses on mourning their loved one’s death.

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Merced

I’m Ed Smith, a Merced motorcycle accident attorney. A hit and run accident can leave a biker and their family in a vulnerable situation, particularly if serious injuries or death are involved. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you and your family may benefit from the insight of an experienced lawyer. Please call me anytime at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly advice.

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I am a proud member of several legal organizations, including the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates. Members of the first group are attorneys who provide clients with the highest standards of legal excellence. The other forum is composed of trial lawyers who have obtained verdicts or settlements of $1 million or more for a client.

As a Merced motorcycle accident lawyer, I understand the effects of a motorcycle accident may be devastating for injured parties and families of decedents. This is why I have dedicated my time to helping those affected by such tragedies recover the compensation they need since 1982. To see how our law office has handled cases for our former clients, visit our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Image Credit: By “Juan Pablo Arenas” via Pexels

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