Brian White | August 31, 2020 | News
According to Harris County sheriff’s deputies, a man and a woman died in a motorcycle crash in northwest Harris County on August 21, 2020. On Friday morning around 1:00, a man and a woman were riding a motorcycle heading east on Grand Parkway at Kuykendahl. The motorcycle struck a guardrail.
The man and woman were thrown from the motorcycle and off the overpass. They fell to their deaths.
The names of the victims had not been released, and no other details about the crash were available.
Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents in Houston
Thousands of people die each year in traffic accidents. There was a slight decrease in the number of traffic fatalities in 2018. Even so, 36,560 people died in traffic crashes.
Why Do Fatal Accidents Happen?
A fatal motor vehicle accident can usually be attributed to some type of mistake or human error. However, weather conditions, road conditions, and defective automobiles may also be factors in fatal crashes.
Some of the common reasons for fatal car crashes include, but are not limited to:
- Speed and reckless driving
- Distractions inside and outside of the vehicle
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Drowsy and fatigued driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to obey traffic laws
When another driver causes an accident, that driver can be held liable for the death of an accident victim. Filing a wrongful death claim is the first step in seeking justice for your loved one and your family after a fatal auto accident.
What Should I Do if a Family Member Dies in an Automobile Accident?
The shock and grief of suddenly losing a family member in a traffic accident can be overwhelming. There are so many things that need to be taken care of regarding final arrangements and the probate estate. Depending on the family, a surviving spouse may need help with young children until the spouse can adjust to being a single parent.
When your loved one is in his or her final resting place and everyone has gone back to their regular routines, you have time to think. Some steps that you might want to take if you have not done so already include:
- Request a copy of the police report or accident report
- Request a copy of the autopsy report
- Obtain certified copies of the death certificate
- Notify life insurance, automobile insurance, and accidental death insurance companies
- Open the probate estate, if necessary
We do not recommend that you read the police report or the autopsy report. If you hired an attorney, your attorney could take care of obtaining and reviewing these reports for you. If you do not have an attorney, it might be time to talk with a wrongful death lawyer.
A wrongful death lawyer explains your legal rights, reviews the case, and gives you advice about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for your family member’s death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Houston?
The Texas Wrongful Death Statute permits a surviving spouse, children, and parents to file a claim for wrongful death. If the deceased person did not have any of the above relatives, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate could file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative may also file a wrongful death claim if the family members do not file a claim within three months of the death of their family member.
In either case, the family or the estate has two years after the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If a claim is not filed, the right to seek compensation for a car accident fatality may be lost.
Why Should I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A lawsuit cannot bring your loved one back. It cannot undo the tragedy that your family has suffered. However, it can provide compensation for your damages.
No amount of money can compensate a family fully for the death of a loved one. However, the compensation can help pay bills and living expenses, especially if the deceased did not have life insurance and was a primary income provider for the family.
Damages that may be included in a wrongful death case include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills for the deceased from the accident date until he died
- Loss of financial support provided by the deceased
- Loss of support, love, companionship, and guidance
- Lost value of services provided by the deceased for the family
- Loss of inheritance
- Mental distress and anguish
In some cases, additional compensation might be available in the form of punitive damages. A wrongful death lawyer can review the case to determine the damages that may be recoverable.