Recently, a man was killed when he tried to walk across US 281, forcing the highway’s closure between Nakoma Street and Bitters Road. The driver did stop at the scene and try to render aid, but the man was beyond help. If you are so unfortunate as to lose a loved one in that way, you may be able to file a suit for wrongful death against the driver – even if they did stop and attempt to render aid. No amount of money will bring your loved one back, but it can help to pay bills during the time you may need to get back on your feet.
A Duty of Care
Pedestrian accidents happen all too commonly in Texas, with over 8,100 being registered in 2018, yielding 693 fatalities. There are multiple causes for these crashes, including excessive speed, substance abuse, failing to yield properly, and a general lack of pedestrian-safe infrastructure like crosswalks and stoplights. Many of these are on display in the US 281 accident, most notably a lack of any place for a pedestrian to cross the street safely.
That said, a driver on the road has a duty to exercise reasonable care toward others on the road, and a failure to do so can open them up to liability. If they strike another motorist or a pedestrian, they may be sued for negligence or for wrongful death if the injured person does not survive. While there is no indication that the deceased pedestrian’s family intends to take any action against the driver, they could do so if they believed that the driver was negligent in causing the pedestrian’s passing.
Establishing Wrongful Death
The Texas Wrongful Death Act states that a person is liable for damages in another’s death if it is due to that person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness” or general unskillfulness. However, only immediate family of the deceased person can file a wrongful death suit – generally, a surviving spouse, parents, and children. Anyone else, even if they depended on the deceased, is deemed to be too far removed from the loss of that person to have a right to collect.
While money obviously does not replace the company and support of your loved one, it can help ease financial concerns that are suddenly present, especially if the deceased person was your family breadwinner. If you are able to establish that the defendant was negligent, you may be able to recover for loss of companionship, mental anguish, lost inheritance, and many other types of damages. Not all damages are tangible, and while intangible damages are sometimes more difficult to quantify, they can and will be awarded if they are warranted.
Contact a New Braunfels Wrongful Death Attorney
While there does not appear to be any inclination for the family of the deceased pedestrian on US 281 to file suit against the driver, you may choose to do so if you believe that your loved one’s passing could have been averted if someone else had been more careful. Contacting a New Braunfels wrongful death attorney at the Bettersworth Law Firm can help clarify your potential options. You need compassionate and dedicated representation – call us today. Contact our office at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.