California – June 5, 2021
A wrong way driver and two San Diego police officers suffered fatal injury at the scene when the officers’ car was struck by a driver going the wrong way on Interstate 5 near the U.S. – Mexico border, south of downtown San Diego. The officers were in a blue city-owned Ford Fusion sedan when they were hit by a white Honda Civic traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong direction, as reported by California Highway Patrol Officer Bettencourt. After an accident results in fatal injury, a personal injury attorney may assist in damage recovery through insurance claims and a wrongful death legal action.
California is considered a fault, or tort state with regard to motor vehicle accidents and the no fault portion of a driver’s insurance may address immediate expenses surrounding medical visits and burial expense in cases of fatal injury. Families may file claims to compensate survivors for their loss and reimburse an estate for losses the deceased loved one suffered from the time of the accident until their death. A California accident lawyer can review a driver’s policy to collect information to secure immediate payments until insurance claims and/or legal actions can be processed.
Pure comparative negligence.
California follows the pure comparative negligence law. This allocates fault between parties and will reduce any recovery accordingly. Each party’s negligence is compared to the others and damages are awarded based on that percentage of fault assigned to each driver. Personal injury attorneys can guide legal action after responsible parties are identified.
A wrongful death legal action can be brought by loved ones when a person dies because of the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of another. Damages in these lawsuits can include:
- Medical bills and property loss,
- Funeral and burial expenses,
- Compensation for lost wages,
- Compensation for the pain and suffering.
California Civil Code 3294 allows a jury to award punitive damages in a personal injury case, but the plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s conduct amounted to malice, oppression, or fraud.
Statute of limitations.
In California, the statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident fatality is two years, starting on the date of the accident. This timeline may change if governmental vehicles are involved, or special circumstances prevail and an accident attorney can ascertain the time limitations for each individual case.
Hire an attorney.
Surviving family members, and loved ones should seek legal counsel shortly after a deadly crash so that an attorney can deal with the intricacies of insurance documents and legal action while the family addresses their loss of a loved one. An experienced attorney who is familiar with California accident laws can be reached at the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, and will take action to build a wrongful death case against any negligent parties, and assist victims’ of personal loss through communication with the insurance companies, and investigative personnel regarding any criminal component that lead to the crash.
Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101