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San Francisco Family Wins $29 Million in Fatal Car Accident Suit

By Kelly Balamuth on July 29, 2011

The Sacramento Bee reports that a San Francisco family has been awarded $29.2 million from the state as well as the defendant in a suit over a fatal car crash. The defendant fell asleep at the wheel and crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic, crashing head-on into a car carrying one adult and three children. Two of the children were killed and the other paralyzed from the waist down. The mother of two of the children who was driving suffered injuries that required a two month hospital stay.

The jury said that the defendant was mostly to blame for the Northern California car accident and they convicted him of second degree murder as well as requiring him to pay $9.2 million in damages. The man was charged with murder rather than manslaughter because he had been previously convicted of killing two people in a crash where he also fell asleep in 1994. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. The other $20 million of the settlement will be paid by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) because the jury found that the road was unsafe. According to the victim’s lawyer, there have been multiple fatal accidents on the same stretch of highway but Caltrans has failed to install a median barrier or make other improvements to make the hilly, two-lane road safer. Caltrans has now put in a median barrier on part of the highway.

As is evident in this case, when drivers are negligent, they can cause serious or even fatal injuries and should be held responsible for their actions. The car accident lawyers in San Francisco at Balamuth Harrington have the experience necessary to help you get compensation for damages caused by a negligent driver. Contact us today to see how we can help you. Call 1-888-254-1234.

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Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
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