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Wrongful Death | Northern California Personal Injury Blog

Bicyclist Fatality Provides a Stark Reminder of the Importance of Bike Safety

By Kelly Balamuth on October 30, 2019

A 24-year-old Oakland bicyclist was killed in a dooring accident in early October 2019, as reported by CBS SF. The cyclist was riding southbound in the 1800 block of Fruitvale when he hit the open door of a parked Toyota Avalon and was ejected into traffic. The young man was thrown from the bike and hit by a Dodge Ram pickup traveling south on Fruitvale. Although fire and ambulance crews provided assistance, the bicyclist died at the scene. Read the rest »

Posted in: Wrongful Death

A Hot Car on a Cool Day

By Kelly Balamuth on August 11, 2017

Brooke, a busy mother of two boys—5-year-old John and 2-year-old Louis—worked full-time as an audiologist and lived in the Mission District with her husband, Mark, a dentist. They were educated, well-informed professionals who handled their respective workloads and joint home life while making it all look easy. The kids were always clean and happy, dinner was always on the table, and they were hip to all the latest parenting trends.

So you’d never think it would happen to them. Read the rest »

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Martinez Wife Accidentally Runs Over and Kills Husband

By Kelly Balamuth on July 30, 2015

On the morning of Wednesday July 28th, an elderly woman who mistook the gas pedal for the brake in her Toyota Corolla ran over and killed her husband. The accident occurred on the 600 block of Reliez Valley Road near the border of Martinez, according to NBC Bay Area News. The husband was giving directions for repositioning the car in the driveway when the wrong pedal was pushed, crashing into the garage and pinning him underneath. Read the rest »

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Man Shot and Killed by Oakland Police

By Kelly Balamuth on June 11, 2015

A 30-year-old man was shot and killed by Oakland police Saturday, June 6th near Lake Merritt in Oakland. He was unresponsive in a stolen gray 2005 BMW stopped several feet away from the stoplight at Lakeshore and Lake Park avenues with a loaded handgun nearby. Officials said that they attempted to wake the man up for over an hour with nonviolent efforts that included using a bullhorn and unsuccessfully trying to break the car windows using bean bag rounds.

When the man woke up and responded to police officers a confrontation ensued, leading one officer to deploy his taser and another officer to discharge their firearm, shooting him. The man was taken to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He leaves behind three children. The 12 officers who were on the scene are all being questioned and footage is being reviewed from their body cameras. This is Oakland’s first fatal officer-involved shooting in more than two years, and comes on the heels of protests around the country concerning excessive force used by police officers. Read the rest »

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Oakland Radio Host Killed in Hit-and-Run

By Kelly Balamuth on April 29, 2015

Bay Area Hit and RunA long-time local radio host in the Bay Area was killed in Oakland on April 18 just after 2 a.m. in a hit-and-run. He was driving on the 5900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and struck by a speeding Dodge Charger, causing his car to flip over, killing him at the scene.  At this time, the driver is still being sought with $10,000 in reward money being offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. The popular radio host leaves behind a wife and three young children.

Auto accidents make up the majority of personal injury claims in the U.S. This isn’t surprising, given that there were 5,615,000 police reported car crashes in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As stated by the American Automobile Association, the leading causes of fatal car accidents are: Read the rest »

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Oakland Mother Killed By Gunfire

By Kelly Balamuth on March 26, 2015

A 30-year-old Oakland mother was killed last week when she was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle less than half a block from her home. She was returning home with her 7-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter when the stray bullet hit her in the back of the head.  The mother screamed at her children to run for safety, and they escaped into their house, hiding in fear as their mother died in front of their home.

Oakland police have arrested four men thus far, one 19-year-old who is recovering from a gunshot wound in the hospital, and three 29-year-olds.  This killing marks the 19th gun slaying in Oakland this year. Read the rest »

Posted in: Wrongful Death

Teen Receives Maximum Sentence for Fatal Bike Accident in Concord

By Kelly Balamuth on October 24, 2012

A teenager was sentenced to the maximum sentence for a minor after running over and killing a 41-year-old father and his nine-year-old daughter on April 7. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the father and daughter were riding their bicycles along Treat Boulevard near Oak Grove Road when the convicted teen, then 17-years-old, was driving a Cadillac Escalade at 72 mph in a 45 mph zone. Authorities report that the teen driver made an unsafe lane change moments before the fatal accident at 9:30 a.m., which also left another daughter of the victim with minor injuries.

The teen driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was not texting, according to investigators. In September, the young man, now 18-years-old, admitted to two counts of felony vehicular manslaughter in addition to a misdemeanor count of reckless driving that caused injury to the other 12-year-old daughter. A judge with the Contra Costa County Superior Court imposed the maximum term of “seven years confinement,” citing the teen’s history of disciplinary and driving problems.

The maximum sentence imposed is nearly eight years; however, the teen will be released at age 21 from juvenile detention as required by state law because he was convicted as a minor for the two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter.

The wrongful death attorneys in northern California of Balamuth Law understand how devastating the unexpected loss of a loved one is and know that you may be left with a number of questions regarding the sudden accident that claimed the life of the person you love. Our compassionate legal team will conduct a thorough investigation into the fatal accident in order to hold the responsible parties legally accountable and obtain justice for you and your family.

To see how we can help you during this difficult time, please call (888) 254-1234.

Wrongful Death Cases in California

By Kelly Balamuth on September 26, 2012

Berkeley Fatal Accident CompensationLosing someone you love will always be one of the most difficult and heartbreaking things a family will experience, but when the loss is sudden and unexpected, feelings of sadness and grief may be coupled with confusion as those left behind wonder why the accident occurred at all and if it was preventable. If loved ones feel the death of their family member was caused by the negligence of another party, California law allows family members to pursue legal action against those who may be at fault, and this is known as a wrongful death case.

Wrongful death cases are appropriate when a person dies due to the intentional or negligent act of another person or entity.

A wrongful death case can take many forms, but regardless of the cause of your loved one’s death, California law enables a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the decedent to file a wrongful death claim. In addition, if parents or stepchildren were financially dependent on the decedent before the time of his or her passing, they may be able to bring a claim as well.

State law does, however, dictate how long a party has to file a claim, which is referred to as a statute of limitations. The general statute of limitations in CA is two years from the date of the death, but it can vary depending on the nature of the action and the status of the plaintiff and the dependants. It is very important to confer with a knowledgeable attorney about the statute of limitations because if you miss it, you can lose your rights to pursue a case.

Compensation in a wrongful death case can be awarded to pay for a number of things to help a family in the days and weeks following the death, including funeral and burial expenses, loss of love and companionship, and the financial support the person would have provided if he or she was not a victim of a wrongful death accident.

The unexpected loss of a person you love is an exceptionally difficult thing to experience, and coping with daily life without that person will be one of the many challenges you may face in the days following the death. The Oakland accident attorneys of Balamuth law understand how devastating it is to lose someone unexpectedly, and know that compensation can help you and your family move forward as you confront new challenges. To see how we can help you during this difficult time, please call (888) 254-1234.

Pilot Killed in CA Plane Crash was Doctor Leaving to Provide Medical Care to Mexican Village

By Kelly Balamuth on August 27, 2012

According to a MercuryNews.com report, a Northern California airport accident claimed the life of a 66-year-old pilot who was an emergency room doctor on a charitable mission for Los Medicos Voladores, which is Spanish for “The Flying Doctors.” The physician, a resident of Yreka, recently joined the volunteer group and was headed to Bahia Tortugas in Baja California, Mexico with friends to provide medical and dental care to hundreds of people in the Mexican village. The trio was planning to join three other airborne teams who were going to do the same.

The news report states that the 66-year-old had told his two passengers to get off of the plane so he could test the airworthiness of the single-engine Piper Comanche. The pilot was concerned that there wasn’t sufficient lift. On his second takeoff attempt by himself, he hit a hangar at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee just after takeoff and, according to officials with the Nevada County coroner’s office, the doctor tragically died on impact. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the fatal plane crash.

An avid airplane enthusiast who has been flying planes since his youth, the 66-year-old was the medical director at Fairchild Medical Center in Yreka and was an emergency room doctor as well. The spokesman for Los Medicos Voladores states that the organization shares the devastation over the tragic accident with the man’s family and friends, adding that because of his “selfless concern” for his friends’ safety, the other two passengers are alive.

At Balamuth Law, our wrongful death lawyers in northern California recognize how devastating the sudden loss of a loved one can be and know the unexpected obstacles you and your family may face in the days ahead. If you feel the death of your loved may have been preventable, our compassionate and experienced legal team can conduct a thorough investigation to determine if any parties were at-fault for the death to obtain any necessary compensation. No amount of compensation can ease the pain of losing a loved one, but it can help with the unexpected costs that may arise following the accident.

For legal assistance during this difficult time, please call (888) 254-1234.

Northern California Bicyclist Killed in Hit and Run Accident

By Kelly Balamuth on May 16, 2012

A bicyclist lost his life in a California bicycle accident recently when he was struck by a vehicle, which then left the scene. The bicyclist’s dog, however, stayed with his fallen owner until help arrived.

The accident occurred during the night on Coast Road, north of Wilder State Park. The bicyclist was riding along the road with his dog, a terrier, which was riding in the basket on the bicycle. During the Bay Area car crash, the man was thrown from his bicycle and landed on the side of the road. He was finally spotted the next morning by a passing motorist, who called 911. Unfortunately, rescue workers were unable to save the bicyclist’s life.

Throughout the accident, the man’s dog stayed with him at the scene. The dog was eventually taken to a local animal shelter to be checked for injuries. He was found to be unhurt, and shelter workers will try to find a family to adopt the dog if the family of the bicyclist cannot take him in.

Local law enforcement officers say the hit and run driver was likely driving a 1999 or 2000 sedan or a small SUV, green in color, which may now have a broken headlight due to the crash.

Bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries to both bicyclists and their pets. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash, call a knowledgeable Northern California wrongful death lawyer at Balamuth Law today. We can help you understand your legal rights and options and seek the compensation you need after a crash. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (888) 254-1234.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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