According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, more people died in traffic-related accidents during 2016 than during any of years in the past two decades. The number of deaths in traffic accidents increased by 22 percent from 2015 to 2016 for a four-county area. Experts claim that the improving economy is a factor in the increase in traffic fatalities. They point to the last time Sacramento traffic accidents resulted in these many fatalities during 2005 when unemployment was around four percent. Statewide in California, the same increase in vehicle deaths occurred in 2016. During 2016, there was 3,623 vehicle-related deaths statewide compared to 3,387 in 2015. Any one of these fatalities could be a wrongful death.
About one-third of the vehicle-related deaths in the Sacramento occurred on highways. Alcohol played a role in roughly one-quarter of the fatal accidents. The deadliest accident during 2016 occurred in April of that year. A woman who had recently been arrested on a drunk driving charge caused an accident on Highway 12 in Sacramento County. Five people ranging in ages from two years to 21 years died in the crash.
You can see a map with the locations of the fatal car accidents in Sacramento County during 2016 in the news story.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When someone dies in a traffic accident, the loss for the family is devastating. No amount of money can undo the tragic loss of life. However, the justice system can only offer a means for the family to seek justice by holding the responsible driver liable for damages caused by the accident. Recovering a financial award can assist the family in paying for living expenses and care for spouses and minor children left behind.
Under California’s Wrongful Death Statutes, the personal representative of the decedent’s probate estate can bring a wrongful death action. In addition, anyone with “standing” can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The surviving spouse, children, or domestic partner may have standing. However, if the decedent did not have a spouse, the law allows for someone who would be entitled to inherit from the deceased under the state’s intestate laws to file a claim. This opens the door for parents and siblings to file a lawsuit, in some cases.
The amount of compensation you can receive in a wrongful death action varies. Examples of the types of damages you might receive money for include:
- The cost of any medical care from the date of the accident through the date of the person’s death;
- Costs related to the funeral and burial of the deceased;
- The projected loss of future earnings;
- Loss of comfort, companionship, love, society, moral support, and affection;
- Loss of services, such as taking care of children or performing household chores; and,
- Other damages as the court might deem just and appropriate under California law.
NOTE: It is very important that you consult with a Sacramento wrongful death attorney now. The law limits your time to file a lawsuit.
Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyers
For a free legal consultation with a Sacramento wrongful death lawsuit attorney, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website. Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento and throughout the areas in and surrounding Sacramento County, California.
Source: “A deadly effect of the booming economy – fatal car wrecks at 20-year high.” Phillip Reese. Sacramento Bee. 02 January 2018.