Dallas Law Firm Blog

Texas Wrongful Death Claims after a Car Accident

Texas Wrongful Death Claims after a Car AccidentAs a Dallas wrongful death attorney, I know that serious car crashes occur every single day in the DFW metroplex. Fatal traffic collisions are a leading cause of death among Texans. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently released statistics of all fatal auto wrecks for 2011. Although highway fatalities numbers were down by approximately 1.51 percent compared to 2010, there were still 3,015 car, truck and motorcycle fatalities in 2011. 1,407 of these deaths occurred in urban areas. 110 of them occurred within Dallas city limits.

If a member of your family has been killed in a Dallas auto accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

What are the leading causes of fatal traffic accidents in Texas?

According to TxDOT’s annual report which complied data collected from Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Reports, single vehicle wrecks accounted for a disproportionately large number of the traffic fatalities in Texas in 2011. Single vehicle, run-off the road crashes resulted in 1,208 (40 percent) of all auto deaths in 2011. In my experience as a Dallas car accident attorney, I know that most single vehicle accidents are usually the result of a motorist driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substance (DWI or DUI). There were 1,039 people (34.5 percent) killed in vehicles being driven by an intoxicated driver in 2011. Other single-vehicle accidents are likely to have been the result of either a motor vehicle defect, or distracted driving (for example, the driver using a cellphone behind the wheel).

Although it is rare for surviving relatives of a driver killed in a single vehicle wreck to be able to make a claim for compensation, relatives of any passengers killed in such a collision can seek damages from the driver of the vehicle’s insurance. However, it is a good idea to discuss your legal rights with an experienced attorney before attempting to pursue such a claim on your own.

Other common causes of fatal car wrecks in Texas in 2011 included intersection collisions (accounting for 692 deaths) and head-on collisions (presumably caused by wrong-way drivers, drunk drivers, and drivers trying to overtake unsafely) which accounted for 419 deaths.

What wrongful death compensation can the relatives of a victim claim?

Texas law allows immediate relatives of people killed in deadly car wrecks to recover compensation for any medical bills incurred as a result of the accident prior to the person’s passing, as well as compensation for any loss of income or services to the household as a result of that person’s death. It may also be possible to recover additional compensation for your own loss of consortium as well as other accident-related expenses such as burial costs.

For a free consultation on your wrongful death case, please call Guajardo & Marks at 972-774-9800.