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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerA serious crash on I-35 N on the night of April 28 has claimed the life of one person. An 18-year-old woman was pronounced dead at University Hospital after the Toyota Yaris she was in was struck from behind by a GMC Sierra, which then caused her car to crash into a Dodge Durango. The driver and other passenger in the Yaris remain at University Hospital in critical condition, though the occupants of the Sierra and Durango escaped injury. While the driver of the Sierra will not face charges as of this writing and did stop to render aid, it is still plausible that the family of the deceased may seek to bring a wrongful death suit against the driver of the Sierra to recover medical bills and funeral expenses.

Wrongful Death Law Is Specific in Texas

Texas’ wrongful death statute sets out very specific requirements and facts that must be met in order to be able to file a wrongful death suit. Perhaps most notably, it stipulates the family members who are permitted to file suit - spouses, parents, and children, both minor and adult. Other family, such as siblings, aunts or uncles, are deemed to have had too remote a family relationship, rightly or wrongly. It also states that certain conduct is excepted from the statute; most notably, the right of action for wrongful death does not apply to an unborn child except in the rarest circumstances.

There are two types of wrongful death suits, but only one may be brought by the family. A survival action is a type of wrongful death case, but in Texas, it refers to a cause of action that the deceased had mounted before their passing. For example, if the deceased person had been suing someone over a property dispute, that action would survive under the personal representative of that person’s estate. But only the personal representative has the authority to maintain such an action.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerAn early morning crash near the intersection of Hwy 290 and RM 1826 killed one person after an SUV failed to obey posted signs and turned left into traffic. The SUV was exiting a private drive, and while only right turns are permissible from that driveway, the SUV driver turned left, cutting across several lanes. Another driver, in a silver sedan, swerved to avoid a collision with the SUV but wound up being struck again. The sedan driver was killed at the scene, and while the SUV driver was cited (a misdemeanor), it is not implausible that the family of the sedan driver might want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, given that but for the SUV driver’s negligence, their loved one might still be alive.

Wrongful Death in Texas

Wrongful death is a cause of action under civil law (as opposed to criminal law; wrongful death is not a crime). In a wrongful death lawsuit, a deceased person’s loved ones are seeking to hold the defendant liable for their role in causing that person’s death and may receive money damages if they are successful. Texas law states that a person should be liable for damages if that person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” caused an injury that led to the death of the deceased.

Wrongful death cases are decided based on a legal theory of negligence, meaning that to prevail, a plaintiff has to show three things. They must show that the defendant breached the duty to exercise reasonable care in their actions, they must show that they suffered harm because of that failure and that there was no other cause for their injuries - that the defendant’s conduct was the sole reason for them happening. This is not always easy to establish, especially in multi-car accidents, but it is far from impossible.

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Texas accident lawyerThe morning of March 15 saw lane closures on Loop 1604, as a man in his 30s was killed when he ran his car into a concrete barrier, going the wrong way. While no information has been released, as of this writing, that sheds light on the driver’s personal information or reason for the crash, it is worth noting that wrong-way accidents are common in San Antonio, and can strike when one least expects.

A Lack of Research

Despite the amount of wrong-way accidents that occur, research done by the Texas Transportation Institute shows a surprising lack of research and data on the matter. The most recent comprehensive investigation of these trends dates back to 2004, and while the data is still illuminating, it must be taken with a proverbial grain of salt. Still, certain patterns can be identified, including the most common origin of wrong-way collisions (freeway ramps, most notably those which are not well labeled), and the frequency of substance abuse (between 50 and 75 percent of drivers involved had been either drinking or using illicit substances).

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Texas accident lawyerOn December 10, 2017, one woman was killed when her car was struck head-on by a Suburban that had veered into her lane of traffic on Culebra Road. The driver was under the influence. Such stories are unfortunately not unusual on San Antonio roads, and those left behind after crashes of such severity are inevitably both injured and grieving. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a negligent car crash, especially if alcohol is suspected, you may have a claim for your own injuries, and also possibly for wrongful death, as the deceased woman’s husband may choose to pursue.

Wrongful Death and Personal Injury

If you have been injured due to another driver’s actions, you may be able to recover damages to help pay your medical bills. There are four criteria that must be met in a Texas negligence case. You must be able to demonstrate to the court that (1) a duty of care between motorists existed (which is established by law in the Texas Transportation Code); (2) that duty was breached; (3) the breach was directly due to the defendant’s conduct, with no other cause; and (4) because of that breach of duty, you were tangibly injured - not necessarily physically, but in a manner more serious than cuts and bruises or a simple shock. If you can demonstrate these points while showing that you were not more than 51 percent responsible for your own injuries, you will likely be able to recover.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

Texas accident lawyerOn November 17, a 55-year-old Austin man was killed when his motorcycle drifted across the eastbound lanes and wound up striking a utility pole. No other details about the accident were released as of this writing, but it is worth noting that a single-vehicle motorcycle accident is more than a little unusual, which is perhaps counterintuitive when one assesses the risks of motorcycling. That said, a single vehicle accident does not necessarily mean that no one may be held liable for events leading up to the cyclist’s death or injury.

Single-Vehicle Accident Causes

Single vehicle “run off the road” accidents made up approximately 34 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas in 2016. However, there are many different causes of these accidents. Obviously, very few single-vehicle accidents happen due to suicidality or mere chance, but most people are slow to be able to name a cause other than that. Examples include:

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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