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Wrongful Death Car Accidents

wrongful death car accidentsAuto accidents death cases contribute to a high percentage of California’s annual wrongful deaths. There are a lot of factors, most of them avoidable, contributing to cases of car accidents resulting in death. Fortunately, California statutes provide surviving family members with the right to sue for compensation for wrongful death losses and car insurance death benefits. Get more details on this discussion below.

Auto Accidents Death: Cases, Claims, and Other Details

In this guide:

California Wrongful Death Car Accidents are Numerous

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. Every year, I meet clients who have just lost family members due to other people’s negligence. Frequently, these losses are caused by car accidentsdefective products, workplace incidents caused by employer negligence, and various types of medical malpractice.

Wrongful Death Incidents are Common and Car Accidents Remain a Major Cause

As noted above, wrongful deaths occur due to many types of incidents. In addition to the causes already named above, they can also happen due to nursing home abuse (and neglect), intentional violence, defective medical devices, food poisoning, and faulty drugs. Car accidents keep causing a very high percentage of California’s annual wrongful deaths.

Here’s a closer look at the number of deaths and traumatic injuries caused by California car accidents during 2014 – the most recent year of statistics available on the California Office of Traffic Safety website.

Comparison of Annual Car Accident Injuries and Deaths by California County 

During 2014, the following California counties suffered numerous car accident resulting in death and injuries. Many of these could have served as the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit.

  • Los Angeles  37,546
  • Orange  19,873
  • San Bernardino 13,460
  • Riverside  11,392   
  • Sacramento 9,747
  • Alameda 9,039
  • Santa Clara 9,003
  • San Diego 8,693
  • San Francisco 4,791
  • Contra Costa 4,390

As these numbers indicate, the chances of losing your life in a car accident, which may give rise to a wrongful death action, remain very high.

Upon viewing these numbers, many drivers and passengers want to review the specific driver errors often leading to many car accident injuries and fatalities in hopes of lowering their own chances of being seriously injured or killed.

Here’s a quick review of the key factors present in many car collisions in California and elsewhere around the country.

Leading Causes of Vehicle Accidents

  • Texting while driving. The National Safety Council estimates that you multiply your chances of being in a serious or fatal accident by eight times when you text while driving. Of course, this is just one of the many forms of distracted driving.
  • Drunk driving. Roughly 27 Americans a day are killed by drunk drivers. It can be just as dangerous to drive under the influence of any drug which impairs your judgment or coordination.
  • Speeding
  • General reckless driving. This can include road rage behavior and other intentional acts to disobey traffic laws.
  • Driving at night or in bad weather
  • Running red lights
  • You must leave the proper distance between yourself and other vehicles, so you’ll still have a chance to avoid rear-ending someone and causing an accident.
  • Car design defects. While you can’t always know what these are when you buy a vehicle, all drivers have a duty to properly maintain their vehicles.
  • Making improper turns. Too many accidents are also caused by people who make illegal turns or drive the wrong way on streets and highway on-ramps.
  • Inexperienced driver errors. Often committed by teen drivers. Everyone can benefit from taking a reputable driver training course.

There's a variety of issues from a wrongful death car accident claim for which you can recover. Get to know information about these issues from this video created by

In case of auto accidents death, it's important to act quickly because entities or people might act quickly to cover up, minimize, or in other ways, try to escape responsibility for the death. It's important to take action as soon as possible to find an experienced wrongful death car accident lawyer you feel comfortable with.

Compassionate Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, and I'm a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, my heart goes out to you. Please give me a call at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400 for free, friendly advice. When you call, we will go over the details of your loss and see how to best proceed. I take Sacramento wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you'll pay no upfront fees. I get paid after the successful outcome of your case.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on Avvo, Google, and Yelp, and our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.9.20]

Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.