Seeking Justice for the Families of Fatal California Car Accident Victims – California Fatal Auto Accident Lawyers
When you lose someone you love in a fatal car accident, the grief and financial hardships can be overwhelming. No one should ever have to endure the tragic death of a family member in a fatal car accident caused by the careless or inattentive driving of another. Sadly, motorists that are driving under the influence of alcohol, talking on cell phones and driving aggressively to shave a few seconds off their morning commute cause thousands of fatalities per year in California car accidents.
It can be extremely difficult to focus on pragmatic matters like pursuing insurance claims and navigating legal obstacles when grieving the loss of someone you love. However, financial obligations like paying hospital bills, mortgage payments, car payments and utility bills do not go away even when families face tragedy.
Although an attorney experienced in handling fatal car accidents cannot give you back the love and companionship of a family member, it can provide the money recovery you need to compensate for the loss of family financial support. Your California fatal car accident lawyer can haggle with the insurance companies and ensure compliance with critical legal deadlines and issues so that you can focus on the emotional recovery of you and your family.
It is important to seek out a law firm that not only has experience handling wrongful death cases involving car accidents but that understands that practicing law is a service oriented profession. When dealing with the mental anguish and stress that accompanies the death of a family member, you need a law firm that will return your calls in a timely fashion and provide straightforward answers to your legal questions.
Negligent Conduct Causes Many California Fatal Car Accidents
The most common cause of fatal car accident in California is driver negligence. Negligence is a legal term that in general term denotes the failure of someone to exercise reasonable care under the same or similar circumstances to avoid injury to another. Although drivers who drive negligently or recklessly cause most car accident fatalities, defective cars or equipment and hazardous roadways also may play a factor in causing a fatal car crash. The risk factors most often involved in a California fatal car accident include:
- Drunk driving or alcohol related accidents
- Drivers with divided attentions while texting or talking on a mobile phone
- Speeding or failing to adjust for rain, fog, snow or other adverse weather conditions
- Unsafe passing on narrow two lane roads particularly near curves or hills that limit vision
- Driving the wrong way on the freeway
- Unsafe roadways that lack barriers and other accident prevention measures
- Aggressive driving including tailgating, swerving through traffic and excessive speed
- Vehicle malfunction, such as tire blowout leading to a rollover accident
- Use of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine or other illegal narcotics, prescription or over-the-counter drugs
The early morning hours and weekends have the highest number of fatal car accidents in California. The information is consistent with data that shows drunk driving rates are highest during these same periods. A disproportionate percentage of California drunk drivers also speed, which explains not only why there are many drunk driving collisions in California but also why drunk driving accidents are responsible for so many car accident related fatalities. There were over 2,800 California car accident fatalities in the most recent year that California Highway Patrol data is available. While there are many types of California car accidents that can cause wrongful death some of the most common types of fatal car accidents include:
- Rollover Accidents
- Head on Collisions
- T-Bone Accidents
- Tractor-Trailer Collisions
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Car-Pedestrian Collisions
Fatal California Auto Collision Wrongful Death Claims
If your loved one dies in a fatal California auto accident, you may have a right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against any negligent party and seek damages for your own losses and for the losses of the family member that died. Code of Civil Procedure §377.60 provides for who may bring a wrongful death claim in a California car accident lawsuit. The surviving spouse or children may pursue a wrongful death action and share in the recovery. If there is no surviving spouse or children, any party may pursue a wrongful death action that would be entitled to inherent under California intestate law.
There are two types of claims for which damages may be recovered in a California wrongful death claim: (1) a survival claim on behalf of the decedent and (2) a wrongful death claim by the surviving family members. The damages that one may recover for each of these types of claims include but are not limited to the following:
Survival Action Damages:
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering (if death not instantaneous)
- Medical expenses
Wrongful Death Claim Damages:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of household services
- Burial/funeral cost
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of guidance and mentoring
California fatal car accident attorneys understand the devastating toll on a family that accompanies the loss of a spouse, parent or child to the careless, inattentive and irresponsible conduct of others. A California fatal car accident lawyer can provide careful investigation of the facts, thorough analysis of the law, effective negotiation with insurance companies and persuasive courtroom advocacy. A California fatal auto accident attorney also can answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies.