Vehicle Flies Off Houston Freeway, Killing Passenger And Critically Injuring Driver
Attorney Brian White | August 17, 2020 | News
A tragic car accident on a Houston freeway leaves one person in critical injury and another person dead. The traffic accident occurred early in the morning on August 1, 2020, around 2:30 in the morning.
A Dodge Charger was speeding along I-45 when the driver tried to exit off the freeway at 288 South. The vehicle fell 100 feet to the ground after it flew off the freeway. It also crashed into a tree and hit wiring before it rolled over several times, according to witnesses.
The driver, a man believed to be in his mid-20s, was pulled from the vehicle by emergency responders. They performed CPR before transporting the driver to Memorial Hermann Hospital. He was in critical condition.
The passenger in the vehicle died at the accident scene. According to the police, the driver tested above the legal limit and will be charged with intoxication manslaughter if he survives his injuries.
While police officers were investigating the fatal accident scene, two other vehicles drove through the barriers set up to block traffic at the accident scene. Police officers suspect that at least one of those drivers was also intoxicated.
Holding Drunk Drivers Responsible for Their Actions
The driver may face criminal charges in response to the accident that claimed the life of his passenger. He could be punished with fines, prison time, and other penalties.
In addition to the criminal penalties that he faces, the passenger’s family may have a civil claim for wrongful death against the driver. If the driver is insured, the insurance company may be liable for the damages in a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are separate and apart from any criminal actions against a driver. The person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents may file a claim under Texas wrongful death laws. If no living relatives fall within those three categories, the person’s estate can file a claim for wrongful death on behalf of other heirs.
If the passenger had survived the DUI accident, the passenger could have filed a personal injury claim against the driver. The passenger may have been entitled to compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, impairments, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
In either case, the money recovered in a personal injury case does not undo the damage caused by a drunk driver. However, the compensation received by the individual or the family can help with the financial hardship caused by the actions of a drunk driver.
Statutes of Limitations on Injury Claims In Texas
The Statute of Limitations in wrongful death claims and most personal injury claims is two years from the date of death or injury. However, that is not always the case. There are some exceptions to the rule.
If the accident involves a government vehicle or government employee, the time to file a claim could be much shorter. Also, if a child is injured, the child may have longer to file a claim.
It is best not to assume any deadline is accurate until you speak with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer analyzes the case and applies the correct law to calculate the deadline for filing an injury claim in your case.
What Should You Do After a DUI Accident in Houston?
If you suspect that the other driver is intoxicated, do not approach the driver or confront the driver. It is impossible to know how an individual may react when that person is drunk. Instead, call 911 immediately to report the crash and let the operator know that the other driver may be under the influence.
When police officers arrive, tell the officers why you suspect that the other driver could be intoxicated. The police officer will take care of investigating the matter. Remain in your vehicle and follow the officer’s instructions.
If you do not go to the hospital by ambulance, see your doctor as soon as possible after the crash. The shock and adrenaline from the accident can mask injury symptoms. It is best to be checked by a physician after any traffic accident.
An insurance claims adjuster may contact you for a statement or to ask questions. It can be best to wait until after you talk to a DUI accident lawyer before talking to the insurance company. Something you say to the claims adjuster could negatively impact your case.
Your lawyer handles all communications with the insurance company for the drunk driver. An accident lawyer also gathers evidence of fault so that you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
Working with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney allows you to focus on the healing process. It also means that you have someone fighting for your right to fair and just compensation after a drunk driver injures you.