family walking away in cemetery

Common Causes of San Diego Fatal Personal Injury Accidents 

If a family member dies in a fatal personal injury accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death action. Let San Diego personal injury lawyer Mark Blane and the legal team at The Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, APC, help you seek the justice and the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your grief and pick up the pieces of your life. 

Losing a family member in a personal injury accident in San Diego or Southern California is a heart-wrenching experience that leaves families grappling with grief and profound loss. In such difficult times, it's crucial to recognize that you may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses and your excruciating pain and suffering. I am an experienced injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, APC, and I can guide you through the legal complexities of holding the negligent party accountable and obtaining the damages you rightfully deserve under California law.

Causes of San Diego Fatal Personal Injury Accidents 

The pain of a loved one’s death can be even more unbearable when someone's negligence or intentional actions cause the accident. You need the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to understand the causes behind wrongful death actions and to know whether you can file a claim for damages with the negligent party's insurance company. Here are the major causes of these fatal personal injury accidents.

Car Accidents

Speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving are a few of the ways that negligent drivers cause fatal rear-end, head-on, and side-impact car accidents on San Diego and Southern California's busy roads and highways. In addition to human errors, poor road conditions, a lack of proper signage, and defects in the manufacture and design of motor vehicles amplify the risk of fatal accidents.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are much more likely to result in life-altering injuries or fatalities because commercial trucks are much larger and weigh much more than other motor vehicles. Truck accidents often result from truck driver's negligent driving practices and violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) safety regulations. 

Inadequate training for truck drivers exacerbates the potential for fatal errors on the road. Furthermore, the negligent maintenance of trucks can cause the trucker to lose control of the truck, creating an environment ripe for tragic accidents.

Bicycle Accidents

Negligent drivers who do not yield to the right of way to bicyclists at intersections are a persistent cause of fatal bicycle accidents. Additionally, speeding, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and intoxication compound the likelihood of tragic outcomes in bicycle accidents.

Pedestrian Accidents

Drivers not yielding the right of way to pedestrians at stop signs and intersections, talking or texting on a cellphone, or speeding cause preventable fatal pedestrian accidents. Small children are especially at risk of being killed when inattentive drivers fail to see them before it is too late to avoid a deadly accident.

Motorcycle Accidents

Because a motorcycle rider only has their clothes and a helmet to protect them from a much larger truck or automobile, the risk of fatalities increases dramatically when an at-fault motorist causes a motorcycle accident. If the trucker or driver is speeding even a few miles over the speed limit, they are much more likely to cause a deadly motorcycle accident

Dog Bite Injuries

If a dog bite or dog attack is severe enough, a dog bite victim can suffer a traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage, or other catastrophic injuries that lead to death. Under California's dog bite laws, the owner or dog handler could be held responsible for compensating the victim’s family member. 

Child Injuries

It can be even more heartbreaking when a child is killed in a personal injury accident. Car, truck, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, swimming pool accidents, slip and fall accidents, and daycare accidents commonly lead to the death of children. While a wrongful death action will not reduce the heartache of losing a child, it can compensate for the financial losses and provide family members with a sense of justice in holding the negligent parties accountable.

Understanding What a Wrongful Death Action Is in California

In our state, a wrongful death action serves as a legal recourse for surviving family members seeking compensation for a loved one's death due to another party's negligence or intentional wrongdoing. This claim can be brought against individuals, businesses, and municipalities. Types of compensation a family member can recover in a wrongful death action include the victim's medical expenses, reasonable funeral expenses, loss of the deceased's financial support, and pain and suffering.

Only specific individuals are allowed to pursue a wrongful death action under California's civil procedure laws:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Surviving children or grandchildren if the deceased child did not survive them
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Individuals whom the victim financially supported

Steps to Take If a Loved One Died in a Personal Injury Accident

Taking the proper steps is essential to secure justice and compensation from the negligent party and their insurance company if a loved one dies in a San Diego or Southern California personal injury accident. Here are the steps I recommend you take:

Report the Accident

Report the accident to the police, business, or governmental agency promptly. In the aftermath of the incident, securing a copy of the accident report is critical, as it forms the foundational documentation that establishes that the accident occurred and how it happened. A police report or accident report can be invaluable in building a winning case.

Gather Evidence

You will need evidence to prove your wrongful death claim. This can be more challenging if you were absent during the personal injury accident. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in obtaining the evidence you need, such as the following:

  • Photographs taken at the accident scene
  • Witness statements
  • Damaged property, such as an automobile, bike, motorcycle, cellphone, and other personal property
  • Medical records
  • Wage loss documents
  • Expert witness reports

Consult With a San Diego Wrongful Death Attorney

Seeking an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after a personal injury accident is a crucial step that can protect your rights. An attorney can help you avoid making mistakes that hurt your claim, provide invaluable guidance, and explain your legal options. They will work alongside you every step of the way to build a strong case and navigate the complexities of the legal process.

Your lawyer can investigate the accident, identify the liable parties, and promptly inform the relevant insurance companies about the accident and your claim. It is essential to have your attorney file your claim and handle communications with the insurance adjuster to safeguard your interests. If you discuss your case with the insurance company, you could make a statement or other mistakes that inadvertently weaken your case.

Your skilled personal injury lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster. However, the insurance company could fight longer and harder to deny your claim or try to pay you less money in your settlement because the value of your claim is higher due to the death of your loved one.

If the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement or the statute of limitations expires soon, your lawyer will file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf and litigate your claim. This may become necessary to ensure you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve. 

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney