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Car accidents: California toddler killed by drunk driver

Parents in California often spend countless hours researching safety recommendations and working to ensure that their children are protected at all times. Despite these preparations, it is sometimes impossible to avoid car accidents caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, one family is left trying to cope with the unexpected loss of their toddler after police say he was struck by a drunk driver.

The incident happened in early September. According to reports, a teenager was pushing her 15-month-old nephew in a stroller when they were struck by a car driven by a 72-year-old woman. Police say that the woman did not remain at the scene but was stopped by witnesses. A field sobriety test allegedly convinced officers that the woman was driving under the influence at the time of the accident.

Police say they discovered the two victims near the crosswalk. The teenager suffered an injury to her leg while the toddler did not have a pulse. After spending some time on life support, the child's parents announced their intentions to donate the young boy's organs. The  driver has since been charged with two felonies related to drunk driving and hit-and-run.

It is difficult for those who have not experienced the loss of a child to fully comprehend the grief that this family is experiencing. Unfortunately, many people who have lost a loved ones in car accidents must also cope with the financial ramifications of their loss, including medical expenses and funeral costs. In some cases, filing a lawsuit in a California civil court may be an appropriate response to their loss. If negligence is proved -- a claim that would be supported by a conviction of criminal charges -- surviving victims could receive an award of damages to help them cope with such costs.

Source: People, "MMA Fighter Marcus Kowal Says Goodbye to 15-Month-Old Son After Removing Him from Life Support", Stephanie Petit, Sept. 7, 2016

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