Are Fatal Car Accidents Common in Dallas, Texas?
According to the latest information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a little over 3,700 deaths occurred from car accidents in Texas in 2016. Roughly half of those deaths were in urban areas like Dallas. These numbers indicate that a fatal car accident occurs about once every two hours throughout the state of Texas. Anyone in a serious car accident should contact a Dallas car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Wrongful Death Claims
If a loved one has been killed in a car accident, surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim. A car accident lawyer in Dallas will be able to help families file the proper paperwork and strive toward the best result possible. It is important to have an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer on one’s side to help navigate through the often complex legal system.
- Statute of Limitations: families have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim.
Personal Injury Claims
In the event that a car accident is not fatal, an injured person can still file a personal injury claim to recoup losses and damages that have occurred. A personal injury claim basically operates in the same way as a wrongful death claim, with the exception that the injured person is the one bringing the claim rather than a family member.
- Statute of Limitations: injured people have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.
Types of Damages You Can Receive Compensation For
Generally speaking, the court can award two kinds of damages to be paid to the injured party by the responsible party: economic damages and non-economic damages. However, the court may award punitive (also called “exemplary”) damages in cases in which the responsible party acted with intent to harm or with extreme negligence.
Economic damages come with clear-cut, ready-made price tags attached to them and are more objective in nature. They can include things like medical or funeral costs, lost wages due to death or injury, and similar items.
Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature and do not have a clear price or value attached to them. Thus, they are often hotly debated in court. They can include the pain and suffering of the victim, loss of enjoyment out of life, loss of consortium with a spouse, etc.
One way in which a Dallas car accident lawyer can help is by bringing in expert witnesses who can testify to fair values for non-economic damages. Car accident lawyers in Dallas can also work with the opposing attorneys to negotiate reasonable settlements for economic damages.
Common Fact Patterns in Fatal Crashes
Many deadly car accidents involve drivers travelling at high rates of speed or driving while drunk or under the influence of illegal substances. However, other fact patterns also contribute to the deadliness of car accidents. A Dallas truck accident lawyer, for example, will be aware that many accidents involving trucks result in fatalities simply because of the heavy and unwieldy nature of semi-trucks.
Accidents involving buses are also more prone to lead to fatalities. If your loved one has died from an accident involving a bus, the best option is to contact a bus accident lawyer in Dallas who will be better equipped to handle all the nuances of that kind of case.
The Modified Comparative Fault Rule
Texas follows what is known as the Modified Comparative Fault rule in personal injury and wrongful death cases. This essentially means that the person filing the claim cannot receive compensation if they are mostly at fault for the case. If the court finds the wrongful death or personal injury claimant 51% or more responsible for the accident, no compensation will be awarded.
In short, it is very important to make sure that you or your loved ones are not found to be mostly at fault for the accident. A Dallas car accident lawyer can help by aggressively pursuing your interests, gathering evidence for the fault of the opposing party, bringing in expert witnesses and eyewitnesses, and protecting your rights.
Contacting a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident or Dallas auto collision accident, or if your loved one has died in a car accident in Dallas, the first step after receiving all necessary medical attention is to contact the Pintas & Mullins / Dallas Car Accident Lawyers. Do so by filling out the information on the right of the linked page or by calling them at (214) 305-8277. They offer a FREE consultation and case evaluation so that you can be sure you are receiving the right representation for your case.