According to CNN, traffic fatalities are on the rise. In 2016, there were more than 40,000 traffic-related deaths, which represents a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014.
In motor vehicle collisions involving drunk, distracted, or drowsy drivers, it is usually obvious who is at fault. For example, if someone falls asleep at the wheel and veers over the line and into oncoming traffic, the other motorist involved in the subsequent head-on collision would not shoulder any responsibility for the crash.
Some car accident cases are more complicated, though, especially if they occur in heavy congestion. Every state has its own protocol for awarding compensation when multiple parties are responsible for a collision, and this protocol applies in both personal injury and wrongful death cases.
In Texas, for example, the courts rely on a doctrine called comparative fault to determine a fair settlement amount for accident victims or their families. If you recently lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision and you are not sure if comparative fault will play a role in your claim, contact the Robson Law Firm.
We have recovered more than $26 millions for our clients. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free case evaluation with a compassionate accident lawyer in Austin.
Can We File a Wrongful Death Claim If Our Loved One Was Partially at Fault?
If multiple parties are responsible for a motor vehicle collision or the resulting damages, a jury will aim to determine just how much liability each participant shoulders. In order to file a successful personal injury claim, the accident victim must not be more than 50 percent responsible for the incident.
This modified comparative fault approach also applies to wrongful death claims. Thus, if you lost a loved one in a car accident and he or she was less than 50 percent responsible for it, your family could recover compensation from the other at-fault driver.
Since car accidents are often the result of more than one motorist violating a traffic law, families of accident victims find the idea of comparative fault reassuring. They have peace of mind knowing they can still recover compensation for their loss, even if the deceased was partially responsible for the crash; however, it is important to remember that fault will play a role in the final settlement amount.
Plaintiffs can only recover compensation to cover the damages for which the deceased is not responsible. Thus, if a jury determines that the deceased was 30 percent responsible for a collision and the family incurred $100,000 in damages, they would only be able to recover $70,000 total.
If you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision with a drunk, distracted, or drowsy driver, your family has two years to file a wrongful death claim; however, the sooner you contact an accident lawyer and start building your case, the sooner you will recover the compensation you deserve.
Turn to The Robson Law Firm to discuss your case and determine the best way to proceed. We can evaluate the accident to determine how large a role your loved one may have played regarding the damages it caused.
Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Austin. You can learn more about wrongful death claims in Texas by visiting usattorneys.com/wrongful-death-lawyers/texas.