Cars are the American cornerstone of transportation and Southern California in particular; with the number of motorists and passengers on the roads each day it’s no surprise that unfortunate accidents claim the lives of innocent individuals and leaves far too many grieving families picking up the pieces. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 36,750 people died in motor vehicle accidents nationwide in 2018, and California lost 3,602 people to car accidents in 2017. The loss of life is especially tragic because most of these fatal accidents were avoidable due to the frequency of bad behavior behind the wheel. In fact, nearly 80 percent of all drivers admit to distracted driving at least occasionally. If you lost a loved one in a car crash, you should contact an experienced Menifee fatal car accident attorney today to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics in Menifee
With over 30 percent of Menifee’s 93,000 residents spending over 45 minutes in their vehicles and on roads like the busy 15 and 215 freeways, it’s no surprise drivers and passengers are at high risk of severe or even fatal car accidents. California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported that 350 people in Menifee were killed or injured by collisions in 2016:
- 30 of the injuries and fatalities involved alcohol and 7 of the drivers had been drinking,
- Motorcycles were involved in 19 fatal accidents
- 32 occurred between 9pm and 3am, and
- 110 were related to excessive speed.
Menifee is particularly high risk due its’ proximity to metro areas – 61 percent of California’s fatal accidents occur in or near urban areas. This puts anyone in the area at elevated risk for a fatal accident just by being on the road. In 2019, 2 elderly people were killed on State Route 74 and Briggs Road, and another man was involved in a fatal accident at the corner of Newport and Menifee Roads. The commuting population, multiple freeways, large number of vehicles on the road, and generally unsafe driving behavior of motorists all elevate the risk of fatal car accidents in and around Menifee.
Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
Most fatal car accidents happen because somebody behaved negligently behind the wheel of a vehicle. Though any situation can cause an accident, some are more common than others:
- Mechanical failure due to negligent maintenance or repair,
- Highway and road defects,
- Driving improperly for the weather conditions or time of day,
- Drowsy driving – this behavior is as dangerous driving while intoxicated,
- Driving while intoxicated – California reported 62 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers had a detectable blood alcohol content at the time of their crash,
- Running stop signs or red lights, and
- Distracted driving behaviors like texting while driving.
These actions are a good indicator that a driver, repair shop, or manufacturer may have negligently and caused a fatal car accident in Menifee. A violation of traffic laws that causes an accident and injury also creates a presumption the wrongdoer acted negligently. If so, they may be held financially and even criminally responsible for their behavior with help from a Menifee fatal car accident attorney.
How Do I Win My Case?
An attorney can handle communication with the insurance companies on your behalf, conduct an investigation, and gather evidence to determine what happened and who is at fault for the fatal collision. After investigation is complete, the most common way to seek compensation on your behalf is filing either a wrongful death suit or a survival action seeking damages for injuries caused by the wrongdoer’s negligence. To prove negligence, you need to show the defendant had a legal duty to the victim, breached it through act or omission, and caused the victim’s harm. If these are proven, the defendant will be liable for the victim’s damages without a valid defense.
How Much is My Case Worth?
In a survival action, courts may award the deceased’s estate compensatory damages to make them whole for their injuries. An award may be given for both calculable, concrete injuries such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as for less quantifiable harms to the estate such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium. In a survival action, these injuries must have occurred between the victim’s injuries and their eventual death. The estate may also recover punitive damages to punish particularly vile and reprehensible behavior by the defendant.
In wrongful death claims, eligible family of a loved one negligently killed in a car accident can be awarded compensatory damages for injuries including:
- Loss of expected financial support from the decedent;
- Loss of the decedent’s love, support, affection, and companionship; and
- Loss of the value of services contributed to the household by the decedent.
However, no matter how egregious the defendant’s behavior, in a wrongful death claim no family members can recover punitive damages.
Due to the different burdens of proof, potentially tricky issue of proving causation, and need for understanding limits on available damages, it’s advisable with an experienced Menifee fatal car accident attorney to avoid expensive mistakes in your case.
Consult an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was involved in a fatal car accident in the Menifee area, you know firsthand how devastating the consequences can be physically, emotionally, and financially. To make sure your rights are protected, and someone fights to get the recovery you deserve, contact the experienced Menifee Fatal Car Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today. Our skilled team of attorneys have spent years delivering comprehensive, aggressive representation for victims just like you and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to schedule your no risk, no obligation initial case review today. We are available 24/7 at (866)-338-7079 or you may use our online Contact Page to schedule your confidential consultation. The evaluation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our team of attorneys review your case and use our knowledge and resources to get the maximum compensation possible so you can get your life back on track.