In the early hours of a recent Sunday morning, a tragedy occurred near a California intersection. Two motor vehicles were involved. A driver had exited one of the vehicles moments before a collision occurred and was standing behind it when a westbound car struck the pedestrian and the stopped vehicle.
Investigators say the driver of the westbound vehicle somehow lost control of the steering. Sadly, the person standing outside of the other vehicle was killed upon impact. Rescuers transported the surviving driver to a nearby hospital for emergency care.
Days later, the fatally injured victim’s kin had not yet been located
As in this case, if police do not first contact a deceased victim’s next of kin, they will not release the victim’s name to the public. Several days after this tragedy occurred, investigators still had not been able to locate the decedent’s surviving family members. Police have made a phone number available, encouraging anyone with information relevant to the investigation to call.
A fatal collision often leads to a wrongful death claim
In California and all other states, an immediate family member of a person who was killed in a motor vehicle collision may seek justice on behalf of the decedent by filing a wrongful death claim in civil court. When a plaintiff can prove in court that the defendant’s negligence was a direct cause of the collision that resulted in death, the court may order the defendant to pay compensation for documented items of financial damages. These kinds of monetary awards can help grieving families offset funeral costs and other monetary losses stemming from the tragedy.