California – February 26, 2021

Driving while intoxicated is a criminal act that comes with stringent penalties, and jail time in many cases.  When wrongful death is the outcome, the negligent party will face criminal charges from the State of California and civil legal action in order for a victim’s family to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one.  A 20-year-old driver accused of causing the death of his passenger on February 15 in a one car crash in National City pleaded not guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.  At the time of the accident the driver was found to be driving without a license, and speeding with a blood alcohol limit of .13% which is above the legal limit.  Victims who have suffered loss caused by a reckless, drunk driver should talk to a car accident attorney to build a case for damage recovery.  Negligence may not be difficult to prove based on the criminal actions that caused the car accident.

Fault state. 

Blatant negligent acts in the State of California may have added to the over 3,500 lives lost to accidents in 2018, including those caused by driving under the influence, which may result in criminal action and wrongful death claims.  California is a “fault” state with regard to accidents, meaning that a victim can bring a claim against the responsible party before they file a claim against their own “no-fault” insurance, and there is a two year time period to file a suit after an accident.

Wrongful death.

Damage recovery for wrongful death legal action initiated by loved ones during the two year statute of limitations after a person dies because of negligent, reckless, or deliberate actions of another may include:

  • Medical bills and burial expenses
  • Compensation for lost wages
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages that are intended to punish the person who caused the death.

Families may file both wrongful death claims to compensate survivors for their loss, along with survival actions to reimburse an estate for losses the deceased loved one suffered. A survival action could compensate an estate for lost wages, medical bills and personal property damages the victim incurred.

Hire an attorney.

A California accident attorney can be instrumental in damage recovery to cover unexpected expenses related to untimely death, and to ensure future financial stability for dependents of the person who died.  They can work with insurance companies to expediently pay costs related to funeral and burial expenses, and address losses sustained to property,  medical bills, lost wages, or future expenses incurred by the estate of the person who died.  The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, are experienced accident attorneys who can assist with a wrongful death and survival action when necessary.


Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation

501 West Broadway, Suite 1650

San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-233-8021

Fax: 619-233-3730


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