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Woman killed by alleged drunk driver in Houston

Drunk drivers are a leading cause of injury and death on Texas roads and highways. Recently a woman was killed on the Gulf Freeway in Houston when a suspected drunk driver crashed into her car.

According to Houston Police, the victim was driving her Ford Taurus northbound on Interstate 45 at about 5:15 a.m. when a 35-year-old woman driving a Saab at high speed veered into her lane and collided with her. The Ford was extensively damaged, and authorities declared the victim dead at the crash scene.

The driver of the Saab has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. She has been jailed, with bond set at $30,000.

The criminal proceedings may bring some measure of justice to this tragic situation. But they won't help the grieving family with the financial repercussions of their loss. Fortunately, the family of the deceased victim also has a legal remedy under Texas' civil law system. When a loved one is killed in a drunk driving accident the victim's next of kin have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused the crash. The family can recover damages for loss of support and loss of companionship, as well as for funeral expenses.

In some cases the family can also bring a lawsuit, known as a dram shop action, against a restaurant, bar or other establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver. Texas law requires that establishments serving alcohol do so responsibly, and they can face liability if they serve a patron who is already obviously drunk and posed a clear danger to others.

Source: KHOU.com, "Woman killed in early-morning crash on Gulf Freeway," May 26, 2014

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