George Johnson, a 91 year old man, who was evacuated from his retirement community due to the Montecito mudslides, tragically died when he was hit by a car being driven by a drunk driver. According to the Independent, the driver of the vehicle, Nicholas Hart, who had two prior DUIs in the last three years, was driving on a suspended license and his blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit of .08.
Mr. Johnson was crossing the street in a crosswalk, at the intersection of State Street and Micheltorena Street, when he was struck by Mr. Hart, a 26 year old man from Goleta. The Santa Barbara wrongful death accident occurred on January 23, 2018 and Mr. Hart is being held on one million dollars bail, for the second degree murder charge.
In a California wrongful death case such as this, the family of Mr. Johnson will be entitled to recover wrongful death damages from the insurance company of Mr. Hart, that is if Mr. Hart had any insurance. If he did not have insurance, we hope that Mr. Johnson carried uninsured motorist coverage for the wrongful death damages. A wrongful death lawyer can also sue Mr. Hart and attempt to recover assets from Mr. Hart to pay off any settlement or judgment in the wrongful death case.
This can be very difficult, as most people who do not have insurance also do not have much in the way of assets to try to recover. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to have uninsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy. Many people are driving around California with no insurance or the state minimum liability coverage, which is only $15,000. This amount has not gone up with inflation and the higher costs of medical care.