According to police and witnesses, 52-year-old Brian Keith Peart was southbound on University when he t-boned another vehicle as it attempted an unprotected left turn at the intersection of University and Bristol. The force of the impact propelled the other vehicle into a nearby telephone pole. Both drivers were airlifted to a local hospital, where Peart was pronounced dead.
The other driver's name was not released.
I Sue Dead People
If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was killed in the crash, victims still have legal options. However, these claims have some important procedural defenses, so only an experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney should handle them.
The victim may file a claim against the tortfeasor's estate. Strict time deadlines apply in these matters. If the victim does not file the claim soon enough, the victim could lose the right to obtain compensation. At the same time, it is important not to jump the gun. Texas law imposes stiff penalties on parties who file fraudulent estate claims. So, an attorney must quickly and diligently investigate the facts and research the law.
These claims often settle quickly and on victim-friendly terms. Estate administrators are often anxious to resolve all claims and close the matter.
On a related note, wrongful death claims are also a bit different from other kinds of personal injury claims. Texas' wrongful death statute is broader than similar laws in other states. Wrongful death claimants in the Lone Star State are not only entitled to pecuniary losses, such as lost future financial support. They are also entitled to compensation for their own grief and suffering.
Generally, the judge apportions the damage award among the survivors in a manner determined by the court.
Legal Issues in Intersection Collision Claims
Unprotected left turn crashes are quite common. Some drivers misjudge the amount of time and space they have, and other drivers simply are not paying enough attention to oncoming traffic.
These collisions often involve the last clear chance doctrine. There may be a difference between fault at the scene and legal liability for damages. If Driver A has a chance to avoid the crash, perhaps by changing lanes, slowing down, or speeding up, and Driver A fails to do so, Driver A could be legally responsible for the wreck, even if Driver B t-bones Driver A.
Doctrines like last clear chance underscore the need to always contact a lawyer after a serious injury crash, even if you believe you were at fault. You may still be entitled to compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Vehicle collisions often involve complex legal questions. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Worth, contact Herreth Law. You have a limited amount of time to act.