The accident left Salcido's car wedged in between a temporary concrete rail known as a “K-rail” and an existing concrete wall on the right side of the highway. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash. No other injuries have been reported.
My sincere condolences go out to the family of the victim.
Oakland Car Accident Statistics
According to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 29 deaths from traffic accidents in Oakland in 2010 and 1,985 injuries. At least 14 of these deaths or 50 percent and 173 of the injuries involved the use of alcohol. There were also seven pedestrian deaths, two bicycle deaths, and four motorcycle deaths.
Given Oakland’s population, these numbers are not far out of line with averages for the state in general, representing one percent of all California traffic deaths and less than one percent of all injuries.
What Caused This Accident?
It is not clear at this point who is at fault for the accident that took this victim’s life. The police investigation will most likely determine who was at fault for the accident and responsible for the resulting damages. Depending on how thorough the California Highway Patrol’s investigation is, it may be necessary to retain a professional accident reconstruction expert to verify the findings of the investigation or to give a definitive explanation of how the accident occurred.
Can The Victim’s Family Claim Damages in This Case?
It is possible that the victim’s family may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit for the loss of their loved one even if the victim was partially at fault for the accident. Under California's principle of comparative liability, two drivers can be responsible for an accident in unequal proportions. When this happens, the driver who is "less" at fault may have the right to compensation. For example, if the victim committed some type of driver error that was 20 percent responsible for the accident, her family could claim 80 percent of the damages that would normally be awarded. A Sacramento personal injury attorney could help the family answer these questions and determine if they are entitled to compensation for their loss.