In the early morning hours of September 11, a man was struck by a vehicle in the 1000 block of Parmer Lane, later dying in a Round Rock hospital. While the man was found in the road by police upon arrival, the driver who struck him did remain on the scene and cooperated with law enforcement. Nonetheless, a wrongful death suit may be pending by the victim’s family against the driver, which is a common result after such tragic accidents.
Wrongful Death in Texas
Any death in Texas that occurs due to the “wrongful act, neglect, [or] carelessness” of another person has the potential to be classified as wrongful. Of course, to do that, one must define neglect or carelessness, which is not always straightforward. Wrongful death cases are tried under a theory of negligence law, meaning that one must establish that the defendant was negligent in their actions in order for the plaintiff to recover.
Negligence has four criteria in Texas. A duty of reasonable care must exist between the plaintiff and the defendant. That duty must have been breached and breached specifically by the defendant’s conduct. As well, the breach of the duty of care must have caused tangible, actual harm to the plaintiff – whether physical, emotional, or in another capacity. If all four of these criteria are said to have been met, then damages may be awarded to the plaintiff (usually the family or personal representative of the deceased person). A finding of liability in a wrongful death case means that the defendant was judged to be negligent, and thus the death of the person was wrongful.
The Case at Hand
If one examines the Parmer Lane accident, one can see that some of the criteria are present, according to the information released to the media. Pedestrians have a duty to obey all traffic laws and not engage in risky behavior, and a plausible case can be made that the gentleman had been jaywalking or crossing the street in a place other than a crosswalk – which would be a breach of duty – since he was found in the road. However, the motorist also had a duty of reasonable care toward the motorist, and can reasonably be assumed to have breached that duty since they struck the pedestrian. They also clearly caused tangible harm to him.
If there was a breach of duty by the motorist, causation is the other major hurdle – that is, did the pedestrian’s death happen as a direct result of the motorist’s actions? While obviously, it is not possible to be definitive, it is reasonable to assume. There is no evidence to show that any other factor played a role in the pedestrian’s death – and while some other potential causation may eventually appear, it is plausible enough that a lawsuit for wrongful death might logically be brought.
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help
Losing someone is always difficult, but losing someone due to another person’s recklessness or negligent actions is a hard pill to swallow. If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, as the family of the pedestrian on Parmer Lane has, our compassionate New Braunfels wrongful death attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation for the costs and for the harm you have suffered. Contact The Bettersworth Law Firm today to schedule an appointment.