The facts and circumstances surrounding each automobile accident are different and may give rise to varying findings of liability. One thing is for certain, however: California courts have held over and over again that consumption of alcohol prior to operating a motor vehicle is inherently negligent behavior and will almost always result in the driver, or his estate, compensating the victims in any subsequent personal injury or wrongful death action.
While drinking and driving is abhorrent enough, the last story we ever wish to report is one involving multiple deaths, including children and the unborn. In a recent story surfacing late last month, one drunk driver claimed the lives of multiple individuals, including a pregnant woman. Of course, the specific details of the accident have yet to emerge, but authorities are fairly certain consumption of alcohol, excessive speed and use of a cell phone were all contributing factors.
Details of Emerge of Horrific Central California Crash
On the evening of October 22, five vehicles collided at an intersection just north of Stockton, California. Eye witnesses report seeing an SUV speeding in excess of 90 miles per hour before colliding with its first victim, sending a shock wave of destruction and calamity. According to one eye witness reporter, “Three vehicles were crushed together in a violent knot. One white pickup truck was bent so that it formed a ‘V’ around the hood of another involved truck.”
Five individuals were killed instantly, including three children and a pregnant woman. The victim sixth passed away overnight after treatment at a nearby hospital. Close to one dozen other victims sustained serious injuries and were treated immediately. Of the three children killed in the accident, all siblings, only their nine-year old brother survived and remained in critical condition after the crash.
The Legal Side of a Disaster
In the wake of a tragedy like that described above, few surviving family members can even bear the thought or consideration of a personal injury lawsuit. However, especially for the family involved in this crash, the costs of emergency medical care, as well as a funeral and its arrangements, can run into tens of thousands of dollars. If there is another individual responsible for this kind of expense, that person should be held accountable to the family for their pain, suffering and financial output.
In California, immediate family members of the deceased are eligible to commence a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the decedents, known as a wrongful death action. Currently, the law allows spouses, domestic partners, children, parents and siblings to pursue damages. In addition to the quantifiable costs of the injuries and burials, the family may pursue compensation for the pain and suffering. If a child loses as a parent, such as the young survivor mentioned above, he may pursue compensation for loss of mentorship, pain, suffering and anxiety.
Contact a Compassionate Advocate Today
We understand the complex emotional nature of a wrongful death action and are prepared to help you through the legal side of your family’s recent tragedy. For more information about the process or to speak with a kind and compassionate legal advocate, call Nelson C. Barry today.