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 Fatal DUI Accident Rates in Houston Among Highest in the State

Fatal DUI Accident Rates in Houston Among Highest in the State

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a negligent, careless, and illegal act. While any reasonable person understands that driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs can significantly increase the risks of causing preventable car accidents, statistics show many motorists across the state continue to put their lives and the lives of others at risk by getting behind the wheel under the influence. In fact, a recent study highlights the fact that Houston ranks among the top cities in the state when it comes to the most serious DUI accidents – those resulting in death.

According to a report released by Valuepenguin that analyzed the more than 17,000 alcohol-related auto accidents that took place in Texas in 2016, the most recent year for which Texas DoT data is available, Houston and several other cities saw rates of fatal DUI crashes significantly higher than most others.

Here are some key findings from the analysis:

  • Houston consistently has the most DUI-related fatalities, which was the case in 2016 when 6% of the nearly 1,500 fatal accidents caused by an impaired driver resulted in at least one death – which is two times more than the statewide average. However, likely because it is the largest city in the state, Houston came in at number 8 on the list of Texas cities with the highest rates of fatal DUI accidents.
  • Dallas came in as the fourth city for DUI deaths per 100,000 residents. According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 165 deaths resulting from DUI accidents between 2014 and 2016.
  • According to the study, Midland is the most dangerous Texas city for DUI fatalities. Although the population is small, and part of the city lies within Martin County, where alcohol sales are prohibited, Midland sees an average of 5.7 DUI fatalities per 100,000 residents.

Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas: Your Rights as a Victim

At The Daspit Law Firm, our legal team focuses our practice on representing victims in a range of personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Houston and the entire state, which means we handle all types of car accident cases on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this also means we see our fair share of drunk driving accidents.

When fighting on behalf of victims injured by drunk and drugged drivers, our attorneys are passionate about helping them understand their rights. This includes the right to take legal action against the at-fault party. Because many of our clients are initially unsure as to how the process works, we want to provide a few important things to know about drunk driving accidents in Texas and your rights as a victim.

  • Your rights – When injured in a preventable accident, including drunk driving accidents that could and should have been avoided if not for negligence, you have the right to pursue a personal injury case against the at-fault driver. Families who lose loved ones in fatal DUI wrecks also have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Personal injury and wrongful death cases require victims and their attorneys to prove a driver’s negligence more likely than not caused their accident and injuries, and that they should be held liable for resulting damages.
  • Recovering damages – The most important aspect of a personal injury or wrongful death case, aside from holding wrongdoers accountable, it is help victims recover the financial compensation they need. Although every case is different, victims generally have the right to seek a financial recovery of their non-economic and economic damages, including their pain and suffering, medical expenses, financial losses (i.e. property damage and lost income), among others. Families who file wrongful death actions also have a right to recover damages, including lost emotional and financial support, emotional pain and suffering, and funeral or burial expenses. Our legal team works diligently to help our clients take a full account of their damages, and fights for the maximum compensation possible.
  • Criminal cases – Drivers who cause DUI accidents can be charged with a crime. As a victim, you need to know that any criminal case against the driver is a separate legal matter. Criminal charges are handled in the criminal justice system, which determines guilt and uses the highest burden of proof. Because criminal cases aren’t a viable compensation source, victims need to pursue personal injury lawsuits in the civil justice system, where the burden of proof is lower and which focuses on financial responsibility for accidents and injuries, in order to recover their damages.
  • Working with an attorney – Working with an attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make when pursuing an unfamiliar legal process. Even if you think that clear intoxication on the part of a drunk driver may be enough to ensure your claim will be properly handled and fair compensation offered, you must remember that insurance companies which handle these claims want to pay as little as possible. As such, they may attempt you get you to settle for less than you deserve, or may raise disputes about fault and liability in order to minimize or avoid payments. Working with experienced lawyers, including those at our firm who have insurance defense experience, can help you level the playing field with insurance companies.

If you have questions about a recent drunk driving accident or any other type of preventable car accident in Houston or anywhere in Texas, The Daspit Law Firm is here to help. Our experienced and compassionate team proudly serves victims and families throughout the state from multiple office locations, and can help you better understand your rights during FREE and confidential consultation. Contact us to get started.

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