Murrieta Community Mourns Teen Who Died in Single-Vehicle Crash

A Murrieta teenager, 17, died in April 2022 when the car she was driving collided with a light pole.

At around 10:50 at night on April 17, 2022, a Murrieta teenager was driving on Murrieta Hot Springs Road. She lost control of her car, and it veered onto the sidewalk before hitting a light pole. First responders attempted to revive her but pronounced her dead at the scene. She was 17 years old. A 19-year-old passenger who was in the car with her was transported to the hospital for treatment. The passenger’s injuries were not life-threatening.

The driver was a student at Murrieta Mesa High. She also worked part-time at Chuck E. Cheese in Escondido. She also competed in the Miss Philippines USA modeling pageant. The Miss Philippines USA pageant posted a message expressing the sadness of the organization’s members over the loss. Scott Richards, Jr., the principal of Murrieta Mesa High, expressed similar sentiments in a post on behalf of the school. The Murrieta personal injury lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP also send their condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and community.

Your Rights After Losing a Family Member in a Single-Vehicle Collision

The surviving family members of victims of fatal car accidents have the right to file wrongful death lawsuits against the parties responsible for causing the accident. As in any civil lawsuit related to negligence, the plaintiff, who is usually either the estate of the victim or a close family member of the victim, can request economic damages in the amount of the financial losses the victim’s family suffered because of the victim’s untimely death. In the case of a victim on whom minor children or elderly parents depended financially, this amount can be considerable. In wrongful death lawsuits, the plaintiffs can also request noneconomic damages for loss of the companionship of their deceased family member.

In wrongful death cases involving traffic collisions, the defendant is usually the driver or owner of the vehicle that caused the accident. If the driver received criminal charges for reckless driving or DUI in connection to the accident, the plaintiffs have a strong case. In the case of single-vehicle accidents, though, negligence may still play a role. For example, if the cause of the accident was a manufacturer’s defect of the car, then the victim’s family may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective part; lawsuits related to crashes caused by malfunctioning batteries in electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies have received a lot of publicity. In single-vehicle crashes where the victim had consumed alcohol at a bar before driving, the victim’s family can file a dram shop liability lawsuit against the bar.

Contact a Murrieta Wrongful Death Lawyer

A wrongful death lawyer can help you if you have lost a close family member as a result of a preventable accident. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to set up a consultation about your wrongful death case.