One person was killed and more were injured after a multiple-vehicle Houston pileup that is being blamed on a drunk driver. On North Freeway in the early hours of the morning on December 10, the drunk driver’s truck either slowed or stopped in the road, causing a gray Nissan Pathfinder behind to crash into it.
When the Pathfinder’s driver got out of his vehicle and walked up to speak to the truck’s driver—possibly to see if he was harmed—he was tragically killed by a Honda Civic whose driver did not see him. Paramedics then arrived on the scene, found the truck driver passed out, and had trouble waking him. They saw signs that he was inebriated, and he is now being charged with intoxication manslaughter.
A passenger in the Civic was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. This case illustrates that drunk drivers not only harm others with deadly impact crashes, but that other types of accidents are caused by their erratic behavior as well.
Texas legal code differentiates between different cases of intoxication-related accidents, but it’s possible to face charges of more than one type at the same time. Some examples are as follows: driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated with a child passenger, intoxication assault (causing bodily harm to someone else because of drunkenness), and intoxication manslaughter. As noted, intoxication manslaughter is the charge faced by the drunk driver in question, which is most often a second-degree felony that can carry jail time, fines, loss of drivers license, and hundreds of hours of community service.
While all of these are criminal charges, a conviction could go a long way toward helping the victims and their families collect compensation through a civil personal injury lawsuit. The criminal conviction may be admissible as advice during a civil suit, helping to prove the at-fault party’s negligence.
In addition to the scourge of drunk driving, a recent AAA study has proven that drowsy driving is a formidable menace as well. Their website states that “a Foundation study completed in November 2014 found that the impact of drowsy drivers on the road is considerable. Drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 21 percent of fatal crashes, up from 16.5 percent from the previous 2010 study, as most drivers drift out of their lanes or off the road. Drivers themselves are often crash victims who die in single-car crashes.” Combining drunk and drowsy driving is catastrophic.
Many accidents that police respond to on and off the road are preventable and due to the negligence of others. If you feel you or a family member has been harmed because of something someone else did or failed to do, a personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a case against the responsible party. You shouldn’t suffer senselessly at the hands of someone else.
Denena Points, PC is a law firm specializing in personal injury law. Since 2003, we have been battling insurance companies and representing clients from Houston and across Texas so that they can get the most compensation for their hardship. We urge you to never accept an insurance company offer without first learning what your case is really worth. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn what we think of your situation and how we can help. Give us a call at 713-807-9500 or reach us through the contact form below.