The Bay Area Experienced a Deadly May Day

hogarth-de-la-plante-17754-copy-300x179On May 1, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced at least three fatal traffic accidents between midnight and 5 in the morning. The first accident took place on Highway 880 in San Leandro, just south of Marina Boulevard. Two vehicles were part of the initial collision, though a total of four vehicles were involved. The driver of one vehicle died at the scene while another driver was taken to the hospital with major injuries. The other motorists were uninjured.

The second incident was on Highway 101 in San Francisco. A pedestrian walking within a crosswalk was hit by a motorist who lost control of his vehicle. Initial reports are that the motorist left the scene but later reported hitting the pedestrian through 911 and has been interviewed by investigators. There is no evidence that the driver was intoxicated at the time and no arrest has been made.

The third accident was also on Highway 880, but this time in Oakland. Three vehicles were involved in the crash and one of the vehicles caught on fire. Two individuals were killed, a 34-year-old man and a 4-year-old girl who was not properly restrained in a child safety seat. An initial statement by the California Highway Patrol said one of the diver’s may face charges for the unrestrained child’s death. Other passengers, including a 2-year-old girl, were hospitalized.                                                                

California Traffic Fatalities

While tragic, these May Day fatalities are not surprising. California experiences thousands of traffic-related deaths each year. According to the latest information from California authorities, there were 3,074 traffic fatalities in 2014. This was a slight 1.1% decrease from the 3,107 traffic-related deaths in 2013. Motorcycle and teen fatalities both increased in that time frame. Motorcycle fatalities increased 12.1% to hit 519 in 2014 and teenager fatalities increased 1.9% to 220 in 2014. However, there was a beneficial change in pedestrian deaths during this time. These fell 5% to 697 in 2014.

Unfortunately, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, California experienced 3,176 traffic deaths in 2015 – an increase from 2014.

California Wrongful Death Claims

If you lost a loved one in a car crash in California, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit to gain compensation for your loss. A wrongful death claim is possible when another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing was the cause of your family member’s death. You can think of it this way: If your loved one would have been able to bring a successful personal injury claim, you may have a cause of action.

Only certain individuals can file a wrongful death suit. You may have the right to file if you are a surviving spouse, parent, or biological, adopted, or stepchild of the individual. If none of these individuals are alive, then you may file the suit if you would be one of the decedent’s heirs under California’s intestate succession laws.

If you succeed with a wrongful death claim, you can seek medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and more.

To determine whether you have the right to bring a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one, contact a San Francisco wrongful death attorney at Brod Law Firm (800) 427-7020.

(image courtesy of Hogarth de la Plante)