UNION TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS Debbie Baker and Susan Shroder reported that 24 year old emergency medical technician Esteban Bahena was killed in a fatal auto accident on 4/1/10. The incident occurred on the 163 south of Washington when Bahena, while rendering assistance by putting out flairs after a multi vehicle accident was struck by another vehicle. The identity of the 55 year old San Diego woman driver of the 1999 silver Dodge Sebring that hit him was not released by authorities. Maurice Luque spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue department said the CHP was still investigating the incident. Reema Makani spokesperson for San Diego Medical Services said Bahena had been an EMT since August 2006 and this was the first fatality since the San Diego Medical Services partnered with the city of San Diego 13 years ago.
Bahena is survived by his two sisters and friends who have our deepest condolences.
Applicable California Law
Since Mr. Bahena was fatally injured while he was on the job, his family would be entitled to workers compensation benefits which would include hospital expenses, funeral costs and other financial benefits. However, these benefits do not preclude his family members from pursuing wrongful death claims against any one found to be a contributing cause of his death. These claims include damages for loss of financial support as well as the loss of love, society and comfort to name a few. The survivors are entitled to pursue wrongful death claims as determined by the California Wrongful Death Statute. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate can also pursue a “survivor action” for any damages not covered by workers comp or the wrongful death laws.
Wrongful death claims are far too common, this is the third such accident I have written about just within the last two months. The issues relating to these types of incidents are not only compelling and emotional, but extremely complex. The advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney can be very comforting and invaluable after the loss of a loved one.