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Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

We all know how the criminal justice system deals with people who drive while impaired, including intoxicated drivers who cause death or injuries to others. However, what about those victims or the loved ones the victims left behind? What recourse do they have other than waiting to see justice done in criminal court? For those harmed individuals, there is the potential of civil legal action to provide the help they urgently need. That process starts with retaining a knowledgeable San Mateo drunk driver accident lawyer to help your family start getting back on their feet.

Two recent fatal accidents highlight just how harmful impaired driving can be. Late last month, emergency workers responded to a three-vehicle collision at Santa Inez Avenue and Humboldt Drive here in San Mateo. According to police, blood alcohol testing revealed that the 24-year-old woman behind the wheel of one of the vehicles had a blood alcohol content of roughly .20, or 2½ times the legal limit.

One day after the crash, the 40-year-old woman riding with the allegedly drunk driver died in the hospital, according to the Mercury News.

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Recently, this blog touched upon fatal single-vehicle accidents and some of the legal issues that they can present, including ways of holding the defendant liable. Of course, getting a judgment of liability is not the end of the process. A proper outcome means also getting a full and fair sum of damages. As you are dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one, look to an experienced San Mateo auto accident lawyer to handle the legal processes and get your family the full compensation you deserve.

Santa Clara was the site of one of the latest of these fatal single-vehicle crashes. According to Patch.com, a motorcyclist traveling northbound along the San Tomas Expressway hit the center median and crashed. The motorcyclist was transported to a nearby hospital but died as a result of his injuries.

Statistics show that there generally are more than 3,000 fatal vehicle accidents every year in California and most are single-vehicle crashes.

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If you scan the news stories about fatal vehicle accidents, you’ll inevitably notice that a lot of the stories have something in common: the vehicle in which the deceased was traveling was the only car, truck, van, or SUV involved in the incident. In fact, statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that, here in California, the majority of fatal vehicle accidents are single-vehicle crashes (56%). If you were hurt (or a loved one was killed) in a single-vehicle accident, there may be multiple options for getting the compensation you need, so waste no time in reaching out to a skilled San Mateo car accident lawyer.

Many times, it’s not immediately clear what caused the wreck. For example, losaltosonline.com described a recent crash in Santa Clara County thusly: “for reasons currently unknown, the 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan containing the young men left the roadway and entered the center median, where it overturned and struck several trees.” The San Diego Union-Tribune described a recent Southern California single-vehicle fatal accident this way: “Details of what caused the Cadillac sedan to hit the pole were not immediately available.”

Several factors can be triggers for fatal single-vehicle accidents. They can include a driver driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a driver driving while distracted by a cell phone, a driver who was driving while fatigued or drowsy, a driver who was speeding, an inexperienced driver, or a driver who was navigating a road that had poor drainage or poor sightlines, among other things.

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When you lose a loved one due to the negligent or reckless conduct of another, you are doubtlessly traumatized. You may be in shock. You may feel at a loss for what to do. Even in this overwhelming circumstance, after you’ve taken the time to take care of yourself and your family, take the time to contact a knowledgeable San Mateo wrongful death attorney. Your family has suffered an invaluable personal loss, but has also suffered an economic loss, as well. The right legal action can help with the financial damage this accident has caused.

A terrible auto accident near San Francisco State University likely traumatized the many people impacted by it, but undeniably altered the trajectories of at least two lives – the survivors of the one man who was killed in the crash.

Just before 8:00 am one early February morning, an eight-car pile-up occurred in the northbound lanes of Lake Merced Boulevard, according to a KTVU report. The crash caused five non-life-threatening injuries. The driver who caused the accident was an intoxicated person behind the wheel of a stolen car, according to police. A sixth person, a pedestrian who was out for a jog, was killed in the crash, leaving behind a wife and three-year-old child.

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Federal statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show just how dangerous – and deadly – speeding is. NHTSA’s information showed that speeding killed more than 9,300 people in 2018 and was a factor in more than one-quarter of all traffic deaths in 2017. If you’ve been hurt by a driver who was speeding, whether you were in another vehicle or you were that driver’s passenger, you may be entitled to significant compensation. You should promptly act to retain a skilled San Mateo car accident attorney, as you only have a limited time to file a lawsuit and pursue the recovery you need.

Two recent accidents in Northern California highlight just how deadly speeding can be. Earlier in May, a terrible accident in San Jose left four young people in their 20s dead, according to CBS SF Bay Area. The report indicated that the driver of a 2005 Dodge SUV was traveling southbound on Highway 85 when he lost control, causing the SUV to overturn several times. The crash threw two people from the vehicle. Three died at the scene and a fourth died at a nearby hospital. All were either age 25 or 26.

Another driver on Highway 85, whom the Dodge passed shortly before the crash, told CBS that the driver was driving erratically and the CHP told CBS that “we believe this vehicle was at excessive speeds and was weaving,” The police also believed that the driver of the SUV was under the influence, which is why he is facing multiple criminal charges for murder.

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If you have been injured (or a loved one has been killed) in a vehicle accident caused by a drunk (or high) driver, there are certain legal options that are available to you in California. You can file a lawsuit against the intoxicated driver who was at fault in the accident. A successful civil court action may entitle you to receive payment from the at-fault driver herself and/or from her auto insurer. Of course, if you’ve suffered serious injuries and the at-fault driver was someone with very limited assets and only minimal insurance coverage, then those sources may not be nearly enough to cover the entirety of the harm you have suffered. You may need to do more and, depending on the facts surrounding your accident, the law may permit you to do more. Be sure to reach out an experienced San Mateo injury attorney to learn more about the options available to you.

Redwood City was the site of a recent tragic accident involving an alleged drunk driver. An 18-year-old woman allegedly was driving at “freeway speeds” along southbound Highway 101 in Redwood City her vehicle allegedly veered off the road, then “went down an embankment, flew into the air and crashed into a light pole and two trees before coming to a stop on its roof.” The accident seriously injured the driver and killed her 18-year-old passenger, Patch.com reported.

According to prosecutors, the driver had “objective symptoms of intoxication.” Additionally, the driver told police that she drank “lots of shots” at a party in San Francisco, according to the Patch report.

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In a fatal auto accident case, there are many forms of damages to which you may be entitled. Some of these, which may include emotional matters like the loss of the deceased’s “advice” or the loss of the deceased’s “companionship,” can sometimes be difficult to quantify. That’s why, if you have been harmed by an auto accident and have suffered emotionally, you need an experienced San Mateo wrongful death attorney to help you make the most persuasive and effective presentation possible to the court to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve.

The law generally permits you to recover as much the jury believes you have proven to them. As a recent case demonstrates, the amount to which you can be awarded isn’t capped by what other juries have awarded in previous similar cases.

In that recent case, E.J. was driving drunk and was being chased by CHP officers. E.J. crashed into a crowd near a taco truck, killing two. One of the fatally injured was 38-year-old C.F., a single mother of four. In court, the children sued both the driver, E.J., and the owner of the vehicle, M.E.R., for wrongful death.

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Sometimes, you are completely devoid of any fault in your auto accident. You are sitting at a traffic signal, properly stopped, when someone slams into you from behind. The reality is, though, that many accidents are not that black-and-white. We’ve all made mistakes and misjudgments behind the wheel and sometimes some of those errors played a role in our auto accidents. Fortunately, you do not have to be 100% blameless in order to recover much-needed compensation for the injuries you suffered in your auto accident. If you’re hurt in a crash, be sure to reach out to an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney to learn more about the legal options available for you.

Sometimes, errors are simple misjudgments, like braking too late on a wet road. Other times, there fall more on the side of lapses of good judgment. An apparent momentary lapse in judgment turned tragic in San Mateo earlier in January. According to KPIX, the starting point of the fatal accident was a non-injury crash along Highway 101 where a Dodge Charger struck a Toyota Yaris. (The driver of the Dodge was later arrested for suspicion of DUI.) With both cars still in the travel lanes, a woman riding in the Yaris, I.T., got out of that car to confront the Dodge’s driver, and an argument ensued. While I.T. argued with the Charger’s driver, an oncoming Toyota Camry hit and killed her. The driver of the Camry, like the driver of the Charger, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

While it might seem easy to criticize the deceased woman for stepping onto a travel lane of a highway in order to maintain an argument with a driver in a fender-bender, we should all be slow to pass judgment. Nearly all of us have been in extremely highly stressful situations on the road – including accidents. And most all of us have had moments where anger, frustration or stress led us to do things we regretted later.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its fatal vehicle crash statistics and the news for people who use roads while on foot are not good. In 2018, the number of pedestrians killed nationwide rose by 208 to 6,283, which is an increase of 3.4%. The news closer to home was no better. 57 of those 6,283 deaths occurred in the Sacramento region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo Counties,) with more than 80% of those 57 happening in Sacramento County alone. Additionally, 22 pedestrians have died in San Francisco just in the first eight months of 2019.

There can be many reasons for fatal pedestrian accidents but, many times, driver mistakes are a factor. Maybe the driver was speeding or improperly failed to yield, maybe the driver was distracted, maybe the driver was impaired or… maybe all of the above are true. Whatever the specifics, if you’ve lost a loved one due to a fatal pedestrian accident caused by driver negligence, be sure to contact an experienced San Mateo pedestrian accident attorney to find out what can be done to protect your family.

Urban areas are where the biggest increase in fatal pedestrian accidents have occurred, according to the Sacramento Bee. The report stated that fatal pedestrian accidents have surged by 69% over the last 10 years.

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Sometimes, being injured by a driver who experienced a medical emergency can be an extremely harmful thing to your injury case. Sudden and unforeseeable medical traumas that impair a driver’s ability to operate his vehicle safely are often chalked up alongside “acts of God” as things where no one is negligent, and no one is liable.

Other times, though, this medical evidence may be something that actually strengthens your case or gives you more opportunities for seeking the compensation you need. To make sure you are getting all the relevant information for your case, and putting it your maximum advantage, be sure you have an experienced San Mateo wrongful death attorney on your side. When a driver experiences a medical emergency or trauma that was unexpected and that the impaired driver couldn’t have anticipated, that is one thing, and it may hurt your case. When, however, the driver has a history of experiencing impairment-causing symptoms due to an existing (and known) medical disorder, then that is a very different circumstance entirely.

The case arising from a fatal East Bay crash that claimed the lives of 51-year-old E.P. and her 72-year-old mother was an example of the latter. The women were killed in Contra Costa County when another driver broadsided the women’s SUV at an intersection. The other driver, J.H., ran a red light and was going 62 mph in a 45-mph zone at the time of the crash. J.H. wasn’t drunk, wasn’t street racing and wasn’t texting. What he was, according to his lawyers in his criminal case, was experiencing a seizure that caused him to lose control and speed through the red light.

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