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Estates of passengers killed in car accidents may claim damages

Fatal vehicular accidents in Texas are full of horror and unbelievable sorrow for a decedent's family members. The reverberations into a community may continue for months and even years after the victims of such car accidents are put to rest. When a fatality is to a passenger in one of the vehicles, the estate of the passenger may bring a wrongful death civil claim for damages against one or more drivers who were negligent or reckless in causing the fatality.

These factors are likely germane in a recent fatal accident occurring in Cherokee County near Jacksonville, Texas on Friday April 20. It occurred on FM-177 when a car driven by a 40-year-old woman of Troup failed to negotiate a left curve. DPS troopers say that the woman entered the curve at an unsafe speed.

When the driver tried to correct, she overcompensated and ended up in the oncoming lane of traffic where her vehicle was struck by an oncoming pickup truck driven by a 39-year-old man also from Troup. The vehicles ended up in a ditch off the roadway. The driver and her 15-year-old female passenger were both pronounced dead at the scene. The crash remains under investigation. At this time, it is unknown if the deceased passenger was related to the at-fault driver.

Police also have not indicated whether impairment is suggested to be a cause of the accident, but they have apparently forensically determined that the car was speeding. Even if the deceased passenger was an immediate family member of the driver, her estate will have a claim against the driver's estate. Inter-family tort immunity has been abolished in Georgia and most other states and is no longer an obstacle to making liability claims in car accidents.

Source:, "Two killed in fatal crash in Cherokee County", Whitney Mayfield, April 21, 2018

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