Jul 21, 2017 Last Updated 8:00 PM, Jun 27, 2017

Motorcyclist Dies in Fort Worth Accident

Published in IGOTHIT.COM

When an driver is killed by an uninsured motorist, the victim’s surviving relatives can sometimes sue for damages. Although a motorist’s lack of insurance may indicate a deeper problem when it comes to collecting monetary damages, there are several routes that a victim’s family can utilize to receive compensation for their tragic loss. If you’ve lost a loved one, you should talk to an attorney who can help you understand your rights.

A Fatal Motorcycle Accident

In October 2014, Joseph Berry (30 years old) was riding his motorcycle when he struck by a vehicle driven by Teodoro Estrada who was passing through the Sansom Park area on the edge of Fort Worth. Mr. Berry was rushed to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital where he was pronounced dead just hours later. Reports indicate that Mr. Estrada may be charged with making an illegal turn, driving without a license, and driving without insurance. 

A Matter of Negligence

The driver may also face negligence claims in civil court. Negligence is when someone owes a duty of care to another person and fails in providing it, leading to an injury or death.

This breach of duty may be shown if the driver failed to act in a reasonable manner while driving. Since an illegal turn may have triggered this accident, the principle of “negligence per se” can be used to show that the driver is responsible for damages. Negligence per se is when a person violates a safety ordinance, and that violation leads to the death or injury of another person. Under the law of negligence per se, the violation of a safety ordinance is used to prove that a breach of duty has occurred. This is allowed because there is a presumption that we all owe a duty to obey safety ordinances.

Receiving Damages for Wrongful Death

Even though Mr. Berry died as a result of the accident, damages may still be claimed by surviving family members. Certain relatives can sue a negligent driver in a wrongful death action. In Texas, the law allows surviving relatives to sue for two categories of damages. The first category allows relatives to claim damages that the deceased victim personally suffered (this includes medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of life, and loss of any property that was damaged in the accident). The second category allows the relatives to sue for their own losses, including loss of companionship, funeral expenses, loss of the victim’s earnings, and mental anguish.

What Happens when the Defendant is Uninsured?

There is a potential problem when collecting monetary damages from an uninsured motorist. In situations like this, a victim’s relatives might be able to collect damages by leveraging a negligent driver’s income or property in order to obtain compensatory funds.

However, Section 42.001 of the Texas Property Code shields a large amount of personal property from this type of recovery. Furthermore, an uninsured driver often lacks the assets required to cover medical bills and other expenses related to a serious injury or death.

In cases when the negligent driver has no financial resources, sometimes the accident victim’s own vehicle insurance policy includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) which will cover a portion of the expenses.

Nevertheless, even if the victim had this type of coverage when the accident occurred, surviving family members should consult an attorney who can make sure they receive all of the compensation that the insurance company owes to them.

Godsey Martin is Here to Bring You Justice

When you have lost a loved one to an auto accident and are facing medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses, our compassionate and experienced attorneys will work to recover monetary damages to help compensate for your losses. A good attorney can help you make sense of your case, negotiate with the parties involved, develop strategies to recover damages, represent you in court, and deal with insurance companies as needed.

Call Godsey Martin today at 877-IGOTHIT, or fill out the simple form on their websiteto schedule a free case evaluation.

Nathan Williamson

“I became an attorney because I wanted to make an impact. As attorneys we have unique opportunities that are not available in most professions. Those opportunities include the ability to advocate for change, take legal action to right wrongs, and be champions for justice. We are the gatekeepers of the law and help individuals who are faced with challenging situations navigate a complex and sometimes flawed legal system.”

“I met my wife while she worked as an assistant at the University of Oklahoma College of Law Library during my first year of law school. She is currently the Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington.”

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