Car Accidents

Speeding: Almost as Bad as DUI

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in Car Accidents, DUI, Speeding | 1 comment

The excitement of the high-speed car chase has been fueling the success of movies like Fast and the Furious, and the Italian Job, and countless other action movies. It calls to the daredevil in a person which craves that adrenaline rush. But in reality, speeding even a bit over the limit can bring about serious injury, even death.

There are about 6 million auto accidents a year in the US alone, and 40% of those are caused by driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). That’s not surprising. What is shocking is that not far behind is speeding, which accounts for 30% of these accidents. When caught DUI, a driver can face jail time and hefty fines, while those caught speeding get a ticket and just pay a fine. If there are no injuries or deaths resulting from speeding, the penalties for speeding are often incredibly light. A ticket can even be forgiven if you take a course in defensive driving in most states.

Fatalities due to speeding and DUI combined in 2011 was in excess of 3,000 in the state of Texas alone. For speeding alone, the death toll was 278, and 6 of them were pedestrians!

There is a reason why speed limits are posted. Speeding above the posted limit is, according to Part 545 of the Texas Transportation Code, “an offense if the person drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” The key words here are “willful” and “wanton” which suggests negligence. In Texas, traffic accidents have declined somewhat but it is still higher than the national average mostly due to reckless or negligent conduct of the driver.

If you or someone close to you has been harmed by the reckless speeding of a driver, you can consult with a car accident attorney about filing a personal injury claim for damages. This would be on top of the felony charges that would be levied against the driver.

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Causes of Wrongful Death

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Car Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Wrongful Death | 1 comment

Wrongful death is the accidental result of a person’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. The death of a person becomes a civil case when there was no intent or premeditation on the part of the actor to cause death but which still happened because of that person’s action or lack thereof.

There are many ways in which a wrongful death can happen. It could be due to a car accident, medical error, surgical mistake, adverse reactions to medication, defective products, attacks by a pet, plant explosions, or workplace accidents. In some cases, a death may result even when there had been no negligence but in most cases, it was due to the action of another person, especially in instances involving:

  • Car accidents – includes driving under the influence (DUI), distracted driving, cell phone use, fatigue, speeding, tailgating, swerving, road rage
  • Medical malpractice – this is an area rich in wrongful death cases. It can be due to misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, prescription error, inebriation, etc.
  • Product defects – a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be held liable by a wrongful death lawyer if the use of a product that did not work as it should have leads to death. It could be through contamination, mislabeling, malfunction, breakage, mechanical failure.

Since in a wrongful death, the victim is not capable of making a claim, it has to be done by a spouse, parents, or children, including adoptive parents and children or separated or divorced spouse. Step-parents and step-siblings, however, may not make a wrongful death claim. Insurance companies may also take legal action against the person who caused the death of their insured party, leaving them no choice but to honor the provisions of a life insurance policy.

Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim can be a complicated process that could overwhelm an inexperienced lawyer. Find one who has a proven track record in wrongful death cases and who is willing to take on the case on a contingency fee basis if there is no money for litigation.

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