Drunk drivers are one of the greatest menaces to public safety in the greater Houston area. Recently, yet another individual in the area was killed in what police say was an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Houston police say the alleged drunk driving accident happened at about 3:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning. According to police, a 27-year-old woman crashed into another car that had stopped for a red light. The driver of the car that was hit, a 47-year-old man, died. A female passenger in the victim's vehicle was injured and taken to the hospital; her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The woman who allegedly caused the crash was not hurt. Police arrested her at the crash scene; she now faces a charge of intoxication manslaughter.
The family of a drunk driving accident victim may get some sense of justice through the criminal justice system. They also have a remedy in Texas' civil justice system, in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Under Texas law, if an individual is killed by the negligence or wrongful act of another person, the victim's next of kin have a right to sue the person responsible and collect monetary damages. Damages can be claimed for loss of support, loss of companionship and pain and suffering. And in a drunk driving case, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages can be awarded if the defendant's conduct was particularly irresponsible, and are designed to punish the defendant and deter others from similar conduct.
Source: KHOU, "Woman charged with intoxication manslaughter after fatal accident in SE Houston," Aug. 4, 2014