(Last Updated on: September 11, 2023 )

While the law is often imperfect, a dedicated personal injury attorney does everything in their power to help the injured seek compensation for their losses. A recent example of attorney Benjamin Ikuta’s diligence can be seen in the wrongful death case of Rosa Marie Salazar, lost in a fatal car accident at just 59 years old.

Ms. Salazar’s vehicle was hit by a man operating his personal truck on his way to work. In seeking compensation for her surviving family members, there were legal difficulties that had to be accounted for to reach a fair car accident settlement. The details below show how a skilled personal injury attorney fights in the best interests of their clients.

We at Hodes Milman work to help recover all that we can for injured parties and their loved ones. While no amount of money can undo the tragic loss of a wrongful death, fair compensation helps secure a family’s financial future, and holds negligent actors accountable. Call us today at (949) 640-8222 to discuss your circumstances, and read on for an example of the service we provide.

Who Is Responsible for Fatal Car Accidents?

When injuries or fatalities occur due to auto accidents, insurance often covers a significant portion of the damages. However, for the family of Rosa Marie Salazar, there were complications in obtaining fair compensation for the loss of their mother and family matriarch.

Ms. Salazar’s vehicle was hit by Asuncion Garcia while driving on his way to work. She later died due to her injuries. Mr. Garcia’s job consisted of driving, transporting, and tending to office plants. If he had hit Ms. Salazar on one of his routes, then her family’s compensation would have come from the company he worked for and their business vehicle insurance. This is because an employer is generally liable for its employees’ acts while they’re in the course of employment.

However, Mr. Garcia was on his way to work. He personally only carried $15,000 of insurance coverage for bodily injury, which is the minimum allowed in the state of California. That amount was not at all sufficient for the loss suffered, but Mr. Garcia’s employer had a strong argument that he was not in the course of employment under the “going and coming rule.” This is the difficulty Hodes Milman successfully worked to overcome.

What Is the “Going and Coming Rule”?

The “going and coming rule” is a legal concept which states that employers are not responsible for injuries that occur during the commute to or from their place of work. This applies to workers compensation claims and to injuries caused by employees.

However, just because that reasoning is often used to deny coverage of personal injury cases doesn’t mean it’s applicable in every circumstance. The offices of Hodes Milman spent substantial resources investigating the company in question on behalf of Rosa Marie Salazar’s grieving family. We ultimately discovered that Mr. Garcia may have been paid for his commute time, which is an exception to the “going and coming rule.”

When we tested this evidence with mock jury trials, the results showed the employer that they were not immune from liability. With this information, we were able to achieve a settlement over 1 million dollars for Rosa Marie Salazar’s surviving loved ones.

What Could an Injury or Wrongful Death Settlement Mean for You?

For the family of Rosa Marie Salazar, we were able to achieve a car accident settlement with Mr. Garcia’s employer for $1,500,000. Though this amount does not replace all that her family has lost, it will help them recover better than the initial sum offered by Mr. Garcia’s insurance carrier.

Personal injury and wrongful death settlements can help cover:

  • Medical bills for emergency and follow-up treatment
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Pain and suffering both physical and psychological
  • Punitive or “punishment” damages charged to negligent parties
  • Final expenses like funeral costs in cases of wrongful death

An experienced attorney will do everything in their power to help you access every available form of compensation. That includes thoroughly exploring each possible resource, and testing every challenge that may arise. This was what Hodes Milman did for Rosa Marie Salazar’s family, and we’re ready to fight for yours too.

Hodes Milman achieved a far-larger settlement for Rosa Marie Salazar’s family than insurance first offered, and we’re ready to fight for your family too.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

The law can seem intimidating and unmoveable to the average person, but at the end of the day, judgements are made on a case-by-case basis. The application of a law may be tested, and important evidence may be uncovered by your attorney that can improve your settlement results. By hiring a lawyer after a car accident, you and your family may recover more than the bare minimum offered by insurance companies.

The case results of Hodes Milman include millions of dollars for motor vehicle accidents, and multi-million dollar verdicts for wrongful death cases. We pursue every legal avenue possible for our clients to recover the maximum amount available. Through our efforts we help improve the lives of injured individuals and their families.

If you need to speak with an attorney about a personal injury, you can reach us through our online contact form or by calling (949) 640-8222. Let us thoroughly investigate your case, and fight to recover all the financial resources available for your future.




HMI team

When you work with us, you’ll see the difference. A lot of firms are quick to show you numbers, and it is absolutely true that your lawyer should have experience and a strong track record in the area that you require. However, we’ll take it one step further. We also believe that your attorney should put your needs, cares and desires first. Because you deserve more than just compensation for your losses - you deserve a true advocate.

HMI team