A fatal Laguna Niguel car accident that is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing may result in a wrongful death claim. When a fatal accident has occurred, it is important for a complete investigation to take place. If it is determined that someone other than the victim was responsible for the accident through an act of negligence or wrongdoing, then, the family can pursue financial compensation for their loss by filing a wrongful death claim. A Laguna Niguel wrongful death attorney will be especially helpful for those who need to pursue filing a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful Death Car Accidents
According to the 2009 California Crash Facts report, one person was killed in Laguna Niguel car accidents. However, in Orange County as a whole, 141 people were killed as a result of Orange County car accidents. Many of those accidents involved driver negligence. Some of the most common traffic violations that can result in a wrongful death include:
- Exceeding the speed limit: According to California Vehicle Code 22350: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving and street racing fall under this category as well. Anyone who exceeds the speed limit or drives at an unsafe speed given the traffic, weather and roadway conditions, is considered negligent under the law.
- Driving under the influence: According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." Drunk driving is not an accident, but it is a choice. Choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired is an irresponsible and reckless act.
Other acts of negligence that can result in a wrongful death car accident include running a red light, failure to look before changing lanes, entering traffic without yielding the right of way and making a dangerous turn without yielding to oncoming traffic.
Wrongful Death Bicycle Accidents
Laguna Niguel is a beautiful city to ride your bike. However, bike riding comes with risks. Often, in a collision between a larger vehicle and a bicycle, it is the bicyclist who could suffer fatal injuries. According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no bicycle accident fatalities reported in Laguna Niguel. In Orange County as a whole, 12 people died in bicycle accidents during the same year. Under California law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. When the negligence of a driver caused a fatal bicycle accident, the driver can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death.
Wrongful Death Pedestrian Accidents
In the year 2009, 41 pedestrians were killed in Orange County. Wrongful death claims involving pedestrian accidents can be complicated because the victim’s family will have to prove either that the pedestrian was legally in a crosswalk at the time of the accident or that the driver failed to exercise due care to the pedestrian. California Vehicle Code 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” It also states “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
The family members of a deceased car accident victim such as the spouse, children, parents or siblings can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault motorist. Damages that may be claimed in a wrongful death claim include lost future income, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost benefits and inheritance. The reputed Laguna Niguel wrongful death attorneys at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys offer our deepest condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one in a car accident. Please contact us for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.