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Riding With Drunk Friends? Families of DUI Crash Victims Still Have Rights

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Michael Mazal
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In the news today, a San Juan Capistrano man was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing one of his friends and injuring another in an Orange County car crash that occurred while he was driving drunk.
The Orange County traffic accident occurred at about 2:45 a.m.  on March 6, 2010. Rigoberto Mondozamora, 21, was driving drunk and speeding on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point. His friends Daniel Higuera, 24, and Jesus Avalos-Munguia, 24, were passengers in his Honda Sedan. Because of the high speed, Mendozamora lost control of his car and crashed into a tree near Golden Lantern Street. Avalos-Munguia died at the scene;  Higuera was injured and  taken to the hospital for treatment of  lacerations and abrasions on his face and body, neck pain and other injuries.
After the crash, sherrif’s deputies noted that Mendozamora strongly smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and was unbalanced. He pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, as well as a sentencing enhancement for causing bodily injury.
The families of victims of fatal DUI crashes have the right to sue the drunk driver for wrongful death.  A wrongful death lawsuit accuses the responsible driver of behaving negligently and allows the family to seek financial restitution.  More importantly, it can help a family get some sense resolution for their loss.
To learn more about wrongful death claims in California, contact the Orange County personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie at 1-866-981-5596.

Category: Wrongful Death

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