A mother and her two young daughters were crossing the street in Santa Ana in 2012 when a woman who tested 3 times the legal limit ran a red light and hit the family. The DUI driver was also traveling at twice the posted speed limit, and the accident unfortunately resulted in the wrongful death of a 6 year old girl.
The criminal case for the DUI is coming to a conclusion in the next week or so. Unfortunately, the family of the 6 year old fatal accident victim has another legal step which immediately follows the criminal case. In California, if you negligently cause a fatal accident you can be held financially liable for the wrongful death of the victim, as well as injuries to the survivors. While a lot of this will depend upon the insurance of the driver, these cases can be quite challenging for the family of the victim.
After more than 40 years of experience in these cases, I can tell you that the civil case (wrongful death) will await the outcome in the criminal case (DUI / Second Degree Murder). The criminal findings can bolster the civil case, making this an easier legal victory from the perspective of negligence and causation. While this case is fairly obvious from the outset by all accounts, it is an example of how DUI related accident and wrongful death injury cases proceed.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident caused by a DUI driver, or have received injuries in an accident caused by DUI I invite you to contact me for a free consultation at (949)305-1400. We are hopeful that the family who has waited for justice in the wrongful death of a 6 year old girl will receive a bit of justice soon, though I know nothing can compensate for their loss. My thoughts are with them.