died in a car accident in victorville

The sudden and tragic loss of a loved one in a car accident leaves families facing not only profound grief but also significant emotional and financial challenges.

 

In Victorville, San Bernardino County, surviving family members have specific legal rights to seek justice and compensation. Understanding these rights and the steps to take can be crucial in navigating this difficult time.

 

This comprehensive guide aims to help families by outlining the relevant laws, types of damages they can recover, and the critical role of legal representation.

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Immediate Steps to Take After a Fatal Car Accident in San Bernardino County

If a loved one died in a car accident in Victorville, these are things families should immediately do:

  1. Report the Accident: Ensure that the accident is reported to the local authorities. Obtain a copy of the police report, which will be crucial for any legal proceedings.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene, including photos, witness statements, and contact information. 
  3. Seek Medical Records: Obtain all medical records related to the accident and the deceased’s injuries, which are essential for proving the extent of damages.
  4. Consult a Lawyer: Contact a wrongful death or personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and understand your legal options. Avoid giving detailed statements to any insurance adjuster until you have consulted with an attorney.

Loved One Died in a Car Accident: Your Rights Under California Law

California law provides specific rights and remedies for families who have lost a loved one in a car accident. Here are some key legal aspects to be aware of:

Wrongful Death Claims

Under California law, particularly the California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit if their loved one dies due to another’s negligence or wrongful act. Eligible family members or heirs to the settlement money may include:

  • The deceased’s spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased’s children
  • If there are no surviving immediate family members, then the deceased’s parents, siblings, or other dependents may have the right to file a claim

Personal Injury Claims

In some cases, a personal injury claim may also be appropriate if the deceased survived for a period before succumbing to their injuries. These claims can be filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate and can include damages for pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death.

Damages Recoverable for Wrongful Death from
a Car Accident

damages recoverable for wrongful death from a car accident

Families can seek various types of personal injury claims in the event a loved one died in a car accident in Victorville. These include:

Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses: Costs incurred for medical or emergency treatment prior to the victim’s death.
  • Funeral and Burial Costs: Expenses related to the funeral and burial services.
  • Loss of Financial Support: The income that the deceased would have provided to the family.
  • Loss of Benefits: The value of lost benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.
  • Loss of Household Services: The value of services the deceased provided, such as childcare and home maintenance.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Loss of Companionship: Emotional and psychological support, companionship, and affection the deceased provided.
  • Loss of Consortium: Loss of marital benefits, including companionship and emotional support.
  • Pain and Suffering: Emotional distress and suffering experienced by the family due to the loss.

Possible Settlement Ranges if a Loved One Died
in a Car Accident in Victorville

Take a look at these scenarios to give you an idea of how much surviving families might get as settlement after a wrongful death from a car accident.

Scenario 1: High-Speed Two-Vehicle Collision

Imagine the devastating impact of a loved one losing their life in a high-speed collision caused by a reckless driver racing through the I-15. The driver, disregarding speed limits and safety, crashes into your family member’s vehicle, resulting in fatal injuries.

 

Damages: In this heart-wrenching scenario, the family can seek compensation for medical costs incurred before the loved one’s passing, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support, and non-economic damages. This may also include the loss of companionship and guidance for children.

 

Settlement Range: Settlements in such fatal crashes typically range from $1 million to $3 million. The exact amount depends on factors such as the severity of the negligence, the deceased’s earning capacity, and the extent of the emotional and financial loss to the family.

Scenario 2: Drunk Driving Accident

Picture a family’s heartbreak when a person died in the hands of a drunk driver with a history of DUI offenses. The driver, intoxicated and incapable of controlling their vehicle, veers off the road and causes a deadly crash.

 

Damages: In this tragic situation, the family can claim medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and punitive damages aimed at punishing the drunk driver for their gross negligence. Non-economic damages for the loss of companionship, emotional support, and the deep grief experienced by the family are also recoverable.

 

Settlement Range: Due to the nature of the drunk driver’s conduct and their history of similar offenses, settlements from this type of wrongful death from a car accident can range from $2 million to $5 million.

Scenario 3: Commercial Vehicle Accident

Consider the anguish felt by a family when their loved one is struck and killed by a commercial truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel. The truck, a massive vehicle with a driver fatigued from long hours on the road, swerves uncontrollably and collides with the family member’s car head-on, causing death.

 

Damages: The family in this scenario can seek compensation for medical expenses incurred before the loved one’s death, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and non-economic damages for pain and suffering. They may also claim for the loss of the deceased’s support, especially if there are dependents involved.

 

Settlement Range: Given the involvement of a commercial vehicle and the potential negligence of the trucking company in enforcing rest regulations, settlements typically range from $2 million to $4 million. The exact figure takes into account the responsibility of the trucking company, the severity of the driver’s negligence, and the extensive loss suffered by the family.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in California: Why You Should Not Accept Insurance's First Offer

Insurance companies often make low initial offers to settle claims quickly. Accepting the first offer can leave families without sufficient compensation to cover long-term financial needs.

 

A Victorville wrongful death lawyer can accurately assess the value of your claim, considering all economic and non-economic damages, and negotiate a more appropriate settlement.

 

For example, for a wrongful death from a car accident case that happened in June 2022, families have until before June 2024 to seek settlement. Now this is just an estimate — a qualified Victorville wrongful death attorney will be able to provide a more accurate timeline for the claim process.

Start a Wrongful Death Claim on the Right Path.
Call RTM Law Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review.

It’s never easy to deal with the passing of a family member who died in a car accident in Victorville (or anywhere in California).

 

For wrongful death from a car accident, you need compassionate and experienced legal advice to obtain justice and financial compensation.

 

The Victorville wrongful death attorneys at RTM Law Firm understand the profound impact of such a loss and are dedicated to helping beneficiaries receive what is due them.

 

Contact us today for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay absolutely no fees until we win your case.

 

Call our experienced wrongful death lawyer at (760) 278-7810.

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    We Help Accident Victims File
    a Personal Injury Claim in Victorville, CA

    Our Victorville personal injury attorneys handle a wide range of personal injury claims in several areas, including:

    ✔ Adelanto
    ✔ Baldy Mesa
    ✔ Bear Valley Rd.
    ✔ Cottonwood Ave.
    ✔ Desert Knolls
    ✔ Dos Palmas Rd.
    ✔ Eagle Ranch
    ✔ Escondido Ave.

    ✔ Hesperia
    ✔ Jess Ranch
    ✔ Mojave Heights
    ✔ Las Haciendas
    ✔ Luna Rd.
    ✔ Mountain View Acres
    ✔ North Star Ranch
    ✔ Oak Hills

    ✔ Oro Grande
    ✔ Palmdale Rd.
    ✔ Spring Valley Lake
    ✔ Sunset Hills
    ✔ Sunset Ridge
    ✔ The Village