Driver succumbs to fatal injury, passenger is injured in San Diego, who pays damages?

California – July 22, 2022

A single vehicle car crash on San Pasqual Valley Road resulted in fatal injury to the driver at the scene and internal injury to a passenger according to San Diego Police. Driving under the influence is suspected and the crash is being investigated to ascertain why the Honda Civic moving east on San Pasqual Valley Road left the roadway and slammed into a boulder.  The injured passenger was taken to the hospital for treatment. California drivers need to understand the action of driving under the influence of alcohol, or drugs (legal, or illegal) can cause fatal injury to themselves, their passengers, or innocent drivers sharing California roadways often resulting in criminal and civil legal problems. When a single car accident results in death, a personal injury lawyer in San Diego can assist family members with accidental death benefit insurance claims to cover immediate expenses related to funeral and burial costs, and research the particulars of a case for further damage compensation once fault has been established.

Accidental death benefit.

The accidental death benefit, as part of a car insurance policy which may not be required,  pays for death expenses if, in a covered auto accident, bodily injury causes the death of a policy holder, or a covered family member died in a single vehicle crash.  An experienced accident attorney can help surviving loved ones by reviewing insurance policies and communicating with carriers to process claims when necessary.  Since California is not a ”no fault” state but offers personal injury protection Med Pay coverages as an option, the policy’s death benefit may cover funeral expenses in advance of a settlement from any proven negligence involving another party, or entity. It is always best to speak with a car accident attorney who understands insurance laws.

California law requires that all drivers have a means to cover costs related to damages, or injuries caused in motor vehicle accidents and are required to purchase liability care insurance in at least the minimum amount of :

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
  • $5,000 for damage to property.

Comparative Negligence. 

The driver’s insurance policy may need to address recoverable damages to pay accident expenses for the passenger who was caused to suffer bodily harm.  If the accident was caused by driving under the influence of alcohol, or other drugs a DUI, or drug-related finding may have some bearing on the outcome of the personal injury action and insurance carrier responsibility and compensation. An experienced accident attorney can apprise surviving loved ones on potential case-specific outcomes and timelines that must be followed.

Hire an attorney.

Seek legal counsel immediately after a car crash involving a driving under the influence charge that takes a loved one’s life and causes personal injury to others.  Consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer who understands the impacts of criminal charges on an accidental death outcome can guide damage compensation and insurance settlement actions.  Associates at the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates will take action to access insurance funds for accidental death for the victim’s surviving loved ones and personal injury compensation for the injured passenger.


Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation

501 West Broadway, Suite 1650

San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-233-8021

Fax: 619-233-3730


  1. One dead, one injured in San Pasqual Valley Road crash – The San Diego Union-Tribune (sandiegouniontribune.com)
  2. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=20001
  3. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=23152
  4. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1785
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