Timothy Chapman, 40, was killed in a Sacramento area car accident, which officials say, involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Sacramento Bee, the fatal DUI collision was reported the early morning of April 23, 2011 on Pleasant Valley Road in El Dorado County. Chapman was a passenger in a BMW driven by a 44-year-old Chico resident. The driver lost control as he tried to negotiate a curve. The car struck an embankment and a tree before landing in a field. Chapman sustained fatal injuries. The driver was transported to a hospital with severe head trauma, and was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Timothy Chapman for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), there were 23 fatalities and 812 injuries involving car accidents in El Dorado County. Of those, nine deaths and 128 injuries were attributed to DUI collisions.
California Drunk Driving Laws
It is against the law in California to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges. California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
Fault and Liability
Where negligence or wrongdoing is apparent, the family of a deceased car accident victim can file what is known as a wrongful death claim. Such claims are filed by immediate family members and seek compensation to cover medical and funeral expenses, lost future income and benefits, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages.
Family members of victims would be well-advised to contact a reputed Sacramento personal injury lawyer, who has the experience and a successful track record of holding drunk drivers financially responsible.
If a dangerous roadway played a part in this crash, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway could also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a California public entity must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.
Lost a family member in a Sacramento County car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after an El Dorado County DUI accident. Call 800-481-8656. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Sacramento wrongful death lawyer, for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.