DUI Accident Results in One Death
According to ABC7 News, an alleged DUI accident resulted in the death of a passenger. The driver, who may have been impaired at the time of the crash, ran into a power pole in Vernon last week. The accident occurred around 11:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Vernon Avenue. The driver suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to the hospital. The passenger was pronounced dead at the accident scene. Beer bottles were seen in the road near the wrecked vehicle.
If a drunk driver has injured you or your loved one, our Fresno DUI accident attorneys can help. Call our office at (888) 500-5000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal option.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in California
When a person dies because of the wrongful act of another party, the law provides a way for the family to hold that party accountable for their loved one’s death. Sadly, the law cannot undo the pain and suffering the family will endure because of the death of their loved one. The only remedy the judicial system can offer is a monetary judgment against the party who is responsible for the death. Money will never replace a loved one, but it can help pay for the family’s living expenses and needs. It can also help to provide much-needed support for children as they grow up without the financial support of a parent.
A wrongful death can occur in many ways. Examples of acts that can result in a wrongful death include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction or worksite accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Sports accidents
- Assault, violence, or intentional acts
Regardless of the type of incident that causes the wrongful death, the family can sue for damages including compensation for medical bills from the date of injury until death, loss of income, funeral expenses, and loss of love, companionship, and support. However, there are time limits for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In most cases, the time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of injury. California CCP §335.1 limits the time to file a lawsuit for “assault, battery, injury, or death” caused by a wrongful or neglectful act to two years from the date of death. This statute applies to most personal injury cases including car accidents and slip and fall cases. However, there is a special rule for medical malpractice cases.
In a medical malpractice case, the law sets a three-year limit from the time of injury or one year from the time when you knew or should have known about the injury to file a lawsuit. California CCP §340.5 governs medical malpractice lawsuits.
Furthermore, there are some exceptions to the deadlines for filing lawsuits. For example, you must file claims against the State of California or other government entities within six months from the date of injury. Another exception gives minors additional time to file a lawsuit once they reach the age of 18 years.
Because your claim can be denied if you fail to file your lawsuit before the deadline, it is important to consult a Fresno wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. You should NOT assume you have years to file a lawsuit. Your case could be an exception to the general rule!