Texas Traffic Fatalities: 23 Years Without a Death-Free Day

A smashed car windshield following a fatal crash in Texas.

Texas recently reached an unfortunate milestone, as the Department of Transportation confirmed that, since 2000, not a single day has passed without a fatal car accident on the Lone Star State's roads.

The last day without a fatal crash was Nov. 7, 2000. Since then, fatal accidents involving cars, trucks, 18-wheelers, and other motor vehicles have claimed more than 83,000 lives across Texas, with at least one person tragically losing their life each day. On a typical day, 12 people are killed in fatal Texas crashes. This dubious honor underscores the urgent need for safer infrastructure and better driving behaviors.

Tragically, fatal car wrecks often leave the victims' loved ones emotionally and financially devastated. Legal options are available to hold the at-fault driver accountable, and an experienced fatal car accident lawyer can help the victim's loved ones find the best path forward.

Legal options after a fatal Texas crash

Texas has plans to reduce deadly car accidents. The highway department's 10-year goals include wider centerline buffers, raised pavement markers, innovative intersection design, increased pavement striping, and a seatbelt safety awareness campaign, among other actions. Even with these improvements, fatal crashes will still happen, and families need good resources for information about their options. Circumstances will determine which legal options are available after a fatal accident in Texas, but here are some commonly available choices:

  • Wrongful death lawsuit. When a fatal car accident is due to the willful act, omission, gross negligence, unskillfulness, or carelessness of another, Texas law allows close family members of the victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. Only a surviving spouse, child(ren), parent(s), or executor of the deceased's estate can sue for compensation of funeral and burial costs, contributions to the household, loss of companionship, emergency medical expenses, and more.
  • Survival action. A survival action may also be possible following a death due to negligence. This option allows the deceased person's estate to pursue a claim for damages that the deceased would have been entitled to if they had survived (e.g., the pain and suffering endured before the victim's death).
  • Product liability action. If a defective vehicle part or a faulty product contributed to the accident, the family may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product.
  • Insurance claims. Insurance policies, including life and auto insurance, could be a source of financial compensation for the family.

If the fatal accident was caused by criminal behavior, such as drunk driving, the at-fault party may be charged and arrested. Criminal charges are brought by the state and are entirely separate from civil actions, like wrongful death lawsuits. Whether charges are filed or the driver is found guilty does not change a family's right to seek damages through civil court.

It's not just a wrongful death lawsuit—it's your family's future

No amount of money can replace a loved one who died in an accident, but a wrongful death claim can help families get answers, closure, and financial help at a vulnerable time.

If your loved one died in a Texas auto accident, contact Hoover Rogers Law, LLP, for a free and confidential case evaluation. We are available 24/7 to hear from you. A member of our team can take in the details of what happened, answer questions, and explain the potential legal options in your specific situation. There is no obligation to hire, just information you can trust. Our experienced Wichita Falls fatal car accident attorneys can guide you through the process, assess the strength of your case, and help you pursue justice.

Consultation* Click Here