According to a report from KCRA 3 NBC, a passenger was killed in a suspected drunk driving crash in Stockton. The tragic crash occurred in the early morning hours of September 5th, 2022. It is another reminder of the horrible risk of drunk driving. DUIs are a factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in California. Here, our Stockton car accident lawyer explains what we know about this crash and provides an overview of your options if your loved one was killed as a passenger in a DUI accident.
Driver Arrested on DUI Charges After Passenger Killed in Stockton, CA Crash
Officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) responded to a serious crash near the Country Club Boulevard onramp of Interstate-5 in Stockton. A representative from the department reported that police officers determined that a vehicle left the roadway and went down an embankment. The passenger was ejected from the vehicle. The as-of-yet unidentified passenger was immediately taken to a nearby emergency medical center— but, tragically, declared dead. The driver was arrested on suspicion of a DUI. The fatal crash is still under a more comprehensive investigation.
What to Know About Passenger Injury and Wrongful Death Claims in DUI Collisions
In California, a passenger who is harmed in a car accident has a legal right to bring a claim against the at-fault party—even if the responsible party is the driver of the vehicle that they were in. An injured passenger can bring a claim against the at-driver. The surviving family members of a deceased passenger can also bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.
There is no law or regulation in California that bars a passenger to bring a claim against a drunk driver. However, these cases can be highly complicated.
A passenger could potentially bear significant responsibility for a drunk driving crash if they are fully aware that they were in a vehicle with a drunk driver. California is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. The comparative negligence standard applies both to personal injury claims and to wrongful death claims.
It is likely that the insurance company handling a DUI accident claim for a passenger will try to escape or limit its liability by arguing that the passenger was aware of the intoxicated driving and/or contributed to the risk. Passenger DUI accident injury claims and wrongful death claims should always be carefully investigated by a lawyer.
Schedule a Free Case Review With a Car Accident Attorney in Stockton, CA
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton car accident lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and experience to handle the full range of DUI accident claims. If your loved one was seriously injured or killed as a passenger in a drunk driving crash, we can help. Call us now or contact us online to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We handle DUI accident injury claims in Stockton and throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley.