Man Accused of Hit and Run Resulting in A Death

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Pacoima Man Accused of Hit and Run Fatality

So many traffic incidents these days. Half of which are hit and run incidents. Another hit and run incident has left a women dead. A twenty-five year old man from Pacoima has been accused of a hit and run incident that ended up taking a life of a woman. The incident happened near the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu sometime last week. The man has pleaded not guilty in regards of the charges related to the hit and run, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

The man’s name who is allegedly connected with the hit and run is Pablo Carranza. Carranza’s car allegedly hit Melanie Quinonez last Tuesday. She was standing outside of her vehicle which was near the Pacific Coast Highway and Zuma View Place. According to the prosecutors, Carranza was charged with one felony count of hit and run driving resulting in death as well as one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter.

Melanie Quinonez had just turned twenty-one years old on Monday. She sadly died after she was struck by the hit and run driver. Melanie had three passengers with her and they had just pulled over to get out and stretch their legs. Which a lot of people do on long trips. According to Sgt. Phillip Brooks, She was sadly struck as she was standing beside her vehicle to stretch out.

The driver of the hit and run vehicle at first fled the scene, going westbound. However, according to the authorities, he later pulled over fourteen miles later which was north of the crash. He pulled over after seeing deputies.

Carranza is scheduled to appear in court on March 23rd for his alleged involvement in the hit and run. According to the District Attorney’s office, if Carranza is convicted he will face the maximum sentence of four year in state prison.

Personal Injury

_Personal Injury _is a legal term that is associated with injury to the body, mind, or even the emotions. Not with injury to personal property. The hit and run incident above, is classified as a personal injury since someone was hurt/killed. The most common type of personal injury are associated with road traffic accidents, work accidents, tripping or falling accidents, assault claims, accidents in the home, product defect accidents and holiday accidents.

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Personal Injury could also be related to dental or medical accidents. Which then leads to some costly medical negligence claims. Other Personal Injury classifications could be called industrial disease cases. Which mainly deals with things such as the nasty asbestosis, peritoneal mesothelioma, chest diseases, vibration white finger, occupational deafness as well as occupational stress and contact dermatitis and repetitive strain injury cases.

Most personal injury claims go to court or ends in a settlement. Depends on the intent of the negligence of the responsible party really. Whoever was injured could end up with a monetary compensation which comes from a settlement or judgement. If Melanie would have survived she would have been able to file for a settlement as well as any doctor expenses she would have had to have due to the hit and run.

Damages From Personal Injury

There are important in a personal injury case. There are two main types of damages which are: special or general. Special damages are measurable costs. Special damages can be itemized for medical expenses, lost earnings, as well as property damages. General damages however, are “less measurable costs” like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.

Melanie’s family could file for any of these general damages. Especially if she had children of a husband. The family feels the loss of a loved one and since this was a hit and run then they could very well claim pain and suffering or emotional distress.

Compensation for Injuries

The amount of compensations for any personal injury depends on the severity of the injury. Something like a broken bone, severed limb, or brain damage would definitley cost more medically and long term so those settlements are generally more expensive. Anything that causes intense physical pain and suffering usually get the higher injury settlement.

If the injury causes long term issues then the injured person can actually and most likely will be compensated for the lifetime effect of the injuries.

A perfect example of this would be if someone was a professional basketball player and their knee got injured in an accident and then they could no longer play the sport. That person would be compensated for his life being altered, if he can’t do what makes him money then he should get compensated for that.

This is called “loss of amenity”.

Insurance for Those Who Get Injured

In the United States personal injury is quite often covered by “liability insurance”. Most the time auto insurance covers this incase of an auto accident. The insurance company will also provide a legal defense for the defendant that may even settle with the plaintiff aka victim.

In this case, the defendant is sadly no longer with us. However her family still has to get with the insurance companies to make this right. The insurance company will pay for the funeral and other kind of expenses.

Some other damages that are less clearly covered by insurance policies would be a mental injury. Most insurance policies clearly state what they cover and that’s only bodily injury.

Taxing On Settlements

In the United States, most the time if you are awarded money in a personal injury settlement then that money isn’t taxable.

Official Statement from the IRS on Tax-Ability of Personal Injury Settlements:

If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to the injury or sickness in prior years, the full amount is non-taxable. Do not include the settlement proceeds in your income.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. If the settlement is meant to replace an income then that settlement becomes taxable. Just like if you were working that money would be taxed and itemized your expenses.

So there’s quite a bit to receiving settlements and Melanie’s family is just as likely to get some compensation for their loved one’s death. It’s sad enough that she was hit and killed, but it’s pretty low for the person to just leave her there and not try to help her. Hopefully there’s no fight to get her funeral costs covered as well as anything else involving her death. Thoughts and prayers to Melanie’s grieving loved ones.

Daniel A. Gibalevich 
Law Offices of Daniel A. Gibalevich

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