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Wrongful Death Lawsuits For Texas Car Crashes

A 2012 article in the Austin American-Statesman highlighted a disturbing fact – Texas is one of the most dangerous places to drive in the United States. While traffic fatalities declined 15% since 2006, the rate of traffic deaths in 2010 in the Lone Star State was 16% higher than the national average. Not only that, but things are getting worse – back in 2006, Texas was only 6% higher than the national average. So, if you are driving along in Dallas, you have a better chance of dying in a car crash than in most other places in America.

wrongful death lawsuits for texas car crashes
Image source: http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/SOUTHEAST_TEXAS_HIGHWAY_CRASH_21789945.JPG


When the Texas Department of Transport was asked to explain why Texas has a higher vehicle fatality rate, they pointed to the fact that Texas doesn't have the same strict laws when it comes to distracted driving. For instance, there is no Texas state law against drivers texting while they are on the move, and major cities like Dallas and Houston don't have any local ordinances against this either. Other factors that they cited included drinking and driving, speeding, running red lights and driving when drowsy.

All of these causes can lead to wrongful deaths. If one of your family members has been killed as a result of these, you have the right under Texas law to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court, in addition to any criminal charges the driver may be facing. For example, if their car was hit by a drunk driver on Interstate 20 outside Dallas, then you can sue the driver for funeral costs, lost family income, any medical expenses that were incurred before your loved one died, and also for pain and suffering. Not only that, but because the driver was negligent – and driving while drunk is the most extreme example of this – you may also be able to get punitive damages.

Therefore, the first thing you should do when the unthinkable happens is to contact a good Dallas litigation lawyers office. While this is probably the last thing you want to do when you are dealing with the grief of bereavement, it is important that you do it right away in order to maximize your chances of getting an appropriate settlement. Otherwise, evidence may be lost – for example, if a car is struck by a truck, then knowing whether or not the truck was overloaded can have major implications for the size of the settlement. It is important in this case to make sure things like the truck’s manifest are preserved so they can be used as evidence in court.

Glen Rest
Image source: http://www.co.kerr.tx.us/historical/GlenRest.jpg


When you file a wrongful death suit, remember that this is not a mercenary act – you are not trying to benefit from the death of a family member. What you are trying to do is to make sure that your family is looked after financially – it was not their fault that the accident happened – and they shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of it. The grief of losing a family member is bad enough without also having to face an uncertain future.