The Vartazarian Law Firm

California car accidents: record settlement in infant death case

Losing loved ones, particularly small children, is devastating for California residents or anyone in the country. When those losses occurred in car accidents caused by someone acting negligently and could have been prevented, they become even more tragic to those involved. A family recently received a settlement for the loss of their child four years after the death occurred.

In Dec. 2013, a man was traveling westbound with his 9-month-old son secured in his car seat. The traffic had come to a standstill when another vehicle crashed into the back of the man's car. The impact of the crash caused the car to hit a moving truck. Trial documents stated that the driver who was responsible for the accident never slowed down or tried to avoid the stopped car.

The baby was taken to the hospital following the accident but died five days later. It was a shock to the family when the Placer County District Attorney's office did not file criminal charges against the driver, who was identified as a Sacramento Police officer. The family believed the decision not to bring charges was based on his position. Therefore, the family pursued litigation in civil court.

The City of Sacramento repeatedly denied that the officer, a 10-year veteran with the police force, was on the clock. However, officials finally acknowledged that the officer was on the job at the time of the accident. The family was awarded $9.75 million, a record settlement in an infant death case in California.

While the settlement can never bring back a loved one, a successful award from a wrongful death lawsuit can help families deal with medical bills and hospital expenses as well as compensate for pain and suffering experienced in similar car accidents. A California personal injury attorney can help survivors through the legal process. A knowledgeable lawyer will work with families to achieve the best outcome in a civil lawsuit.

Source:, "Sacramento Pays $9.75 Million Settlement In Crash That Killed Infant", Macy Jenkins, July 19, 2017

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