09/18/2015 // 1-800 Car Wreck // (press release)
Last month, the family of a man killed by a well-known racecar driver filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing the driver of gross negligence. The lawsuit alleges that the driver, Tony Stewart, caused the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., by gunning his engine and putting his car into a skid before hitting him in the accident that occurred in August of last year.
Source: Yahoo Sports Report “Family files wrongful death suit against Tony Stewart”
“Ward's parents, Kevin and Pamela Ward, requested a jury trial seeking unspecified monetary damages, claiming wrongful death, reckless conduct, gross negligence and their son's terror and suffering…Our son was truly the light of our lives and we miss him terribly every day,” they said in a statement. “Our hope is that this lawsuit will hold Tony Stewart responsible for killing our son and show him there are real consequences when someone recklessly takes another person's life.”
To read more visit http://sports.yahoo.com/news/wards-family-files-wrongful-death-suit-against-tony-202958408–nascar.html;_ylt=AwrC1ClRw.lVViYA2mfQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByZnU4cmNpBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM5BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–.
The lawsuit is one example of many filed in courts everyday across the country involving accusations that one driver’s bad actions caused someone to lose their life. According to Houston wrongful death lawyer Amy Witherite of the Eberstein Witherite law firm, “in the state of Texas alone thousands of traffic fatalities occur as a result of driver negligence each year.”
Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that in the state the crash fatality rate increased in 2014 from the previous year.
Source: “Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Highlights Calendar Year 2014”
“Texas experienced an increase in the number of motor vehicle traffic fatalities. The 2014 death toll of 3,534 was an increase of 3.70% from the 3,408 deaths recorded in 2013…The Fatality Rate on Texas roadways for 2014 was 1.42 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. This is a 2.16% increase from 2013.”
To read more visit http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/trf/crash-statistics/2014/01.pdf.
A significant percent of the high numbers in the statistics stems from accidents in major cities like Houston. TXDOT data shows that there were more than 200 fatal crashes and over 1,000 incapacitation Houston auto accidents in 2014. This is included in the total number of the 60,472 traffic accidents that occurred in the city.
For many families in Houston who are dealing with the loss of a loved one after a car crash the idea of filing a wrongful claim for financial compensation can feel wrong. Some view it as profiting from their loved one’s untimely death. However, says Witherite, who specializes in Houston car accident cases, “families struggling to cope with the loss of their loved one should never feel guilty about holding those whose negligence may have contributed to their loss accountable for financial damages.”
The attorney says there are three key reasons families she has worked with made the choice to file this type of civil claim:
- They have expenses they should not be forced to pay out of pocket – “Medical bills and funeral expenses are examples of two of the key costs families of deceased traffic accident victims are faced with that they should not have to pay for out of pocket if their loved ones died as a result of another person’s negligence.”
- They have suffered a devastating loss that the law says they are eligible to be compensated for – “The law allows for the recovery of several types of damages in the event of a wrongful death.”
- Filing civil claims helps hold negligent drivers accountable if criminal charges are not pursued – “As in the case of the family of Ward Jr., where a driver is not deemed criminally liable, civil claims can help families feel a sense of justice in coping with their loss.”
Those seeking more information about filing a wrongful death claim can connect with an auto accident attorney in Houston by calling the 1-800-CAR-WRECK 24-hour helpline at any time.
Eberstein Witherite LLP
Url: 1-800 Car Wreck Houston
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