The family of an Escondido man is mourning the loss of their loved one after his Corvette collided with a truck in Pala. According to early reports, Henry Clarke’s car began to drift into oncoming lanes of traffic. The little red Corvette was engulfed in flames when he was struck, head-on, by a tractor-trailer. Clarke died at the scene and his car was barely recognizable after the crash. The truck driver walked away from the crash without a scratch. Clarke’s family is likely devastated by the crash and trying to figure out how they will get by in the coming months.
Truck Accidents More Likely to Kill Other Drivers
Truck accidents pose a serious threat to the health, safety, and well-being of everyone involved. However, drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash are more likely to suffer serious and fatal injuries. Trucks can weigh as much 30 times more than a standard passenger vehicle. When these two forces collide, the odds are stacked against the occupants of the smaller vehicle. Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that there were more than 116,000 truck accident-related injuries in 2015. Occupants of passenger vehicles accounted for nearly three-quarters of those injuries.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits After a Fatal Truck Accident
Can Clarke’s family recover any compensation for his unexpected death? Early reports explained that Clarke’s car began to drift into oncoming traffic for “unknown reasons.” If his family can prove that the accident was not his fault they may be able to recover much-needed money from whoever is responsible by filing a wrongful death claim. While there are no details to shed any light on who may be responsible, there are certain groups that could potentially be named as liable parties.
California Department of Transportation
Clarke’s fatal accident occurred while he was driving on State Route 76 in Pala. The California Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining the road. Governments have a responsibility to make sure that public roadways and thoroughfares are safe. This generally means responding to complaints about hazards and being proactive to protect travelers from harm. If Clarke’s family can establish that a defect or hazard on the road caused his car to deviate from traffic they may be able to recover damages from the state of California.
Third Party Drivers
Whenever drivers get behind the wheel of a car they assume an obligation to be safe. When this obligation is breached, the driver can be held responsible for any resulting harm. It is possible that the negligent conduct of another driver caused Clarke to veer into oncoming traffic. Examples could include:
- Failing to yield as they merged into traffic, forcing Clarke out of his lane;
- Texting while driving, causing them to veer into Clarke’s lane of traffic;
- Weaving between lanes on a motorcycle; or
- A pedestrian jumping out into Clarke’s lane of traffic.
If a third party is responsible for (or contributed to the cause of) the accident, Clarke’s family may be able to hold them financially responsible for their loss.
The Corvette Manufacturer or Dealership
Companies that design, manufacture, or sell cars have a duty to make sure that their products are safe. This is why cars undergo so much testing before they are sold to consumers. If the products are defective and cause injuries, the companies who are responsible for getting them on the market can be held responsible. The Clarkes may be able to recover compensation on the grounds that the Corvette was defective.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in San Diego
Clarke’s family is likely consulting with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer to learn about the benefits of filing a wrongful death claim. The unexpected loss of a loved one can be traumatic. The family is not only left to mourn the physical loss of their loved one, but often forced to endure significant financial hardships, as well. Medical expenses incurred before death and funeral costs can be significant. If that deceased family member supported his family it can also be tough to get by with a reduced income. A wrongful death claim can help families to recover these, and other, costs.
Has someone you love recently been killed in a San Diego truck accident? Call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim for damages. Our team of skilled attorneys will review your case, explain the steps involved with filing a claim, and answer the questions you have.