Late Monday night, a speeding driver is believed to have hit and killed two men crossing Cullen Boulevard. According to reports, the driver was northbound on Cullen just south of the South Loop as two pedestrians were crossing the street around 11 p.m. Police believe the driver was driving faster than the 35 mph speed limit on Cullen, and struck the two walkers before hitting a utility pole nearby.
Tragically, both pedestrians were pronounced dead on scene. While investigators ruled out intoxication as a factor, the driver could still be charged as the investigation unfolds. According to local authorities, analysts are dissecting the driver’s car computer for clues, which should reveal how fast the car was travelling at the time of impact. It could also reveal if the brakes were applied.
A prosecutor from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office remarked “There aren’t as many cars on the road,” referencing the stay-at-home order amid COVID-19. “Because of that, you’re seeing some individuals traveling at a much faster speed. That’s dangerous.” The driver was not immediately charged but could face manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide charges.
This tragedy highlights the sad fact that despite there being less drivers on the road amidst the Coronavirus / COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the rate of traffic fatality incidents has remained the same. In many of these fatal crashes, speed or reckless driving has been the primary contributing factors in a fellow Texan losing their lives. Simply put, drivers are continuing to die as a result of other drivers acting negligently.
Unfortunately, we see these stories so often that we become desensitized to the impact this incident will have on the victim’s family. Being a personal injury attorney that has handled numerous wrongful death cases, I have seen firsthand the heartbreak and grief mothers, father, children, and other family members endure when they lose a loved one to a senseless tragedy like this. Words cannot console someone who has lost a loved one. What I have learned is that we never move on from the death of a loved one, we move forward. More often than not, as the surviving family moves forward, they want to seek justice for the loss of their loved one.
In seeking justice on behalf of a family member you lost, you will likely find yourself asking how you will pursue a claim against the responsible driver in civil court versus criminal court. Will the criminal process make you whole? No. Do you have to hire an attorney to represent you to pursue a claim against the responsible driver? Absolutely not. However, you would be doing yourself an extreme disservice if you did not interview attorneys experienced in handling wrongful death cases. An experienced wrongful death attorney will likely recognize potential claims and parties that you never considered.
As an attorney that handles wrongful death claims, I recognize that its my duty to each client to fight my hardest to bring them closure, and more importantly a recovery, for the loss of their loved one. This means looking at the case from every angle, considering every possibly legal claim, and then pursuing every potential defendant to obtain the maximum recovery possible for my clients.
If you haves tragically lost a family member a result of another driver speeding or driving recklessly, please do not hesitate to give me a call to discuss your potential claim. When you call me about a potential case, the conversation is confidential, and I promise to give you my honest advice at no charge and without any obligation for you to retain my firm.