What are the Leading Causes of Wrongful Death in Texas?
In 2020 and 2021, for the first time in decades, the U.S. life expectancy rate dropped two years in a row. This decline was the largest multi-year drop since 1921-1923, when the Spanish Flu, which killed millions of people, raged across America. This time, another deadly flu, coronavirus, was partially responsible for the drop. Continued drug overdose deaths probably contributed even more, as did an increased number of car crashes and falls. Negligent drivers and property owners might be responsible for damages in all these situations. More on that below.
No one can reverse the chain of events which lead to a wrongful death, and no amount of money can begin to fill the emotional void these incidents leave. But a Sugar Land personal injury lawyer can do the next best thing, which is obtain financial compensation that enables survivors to pay final expenses, like the decedent’s final medical bills, and move on with their lives. Legal actions force negligent parties to accept responsibility for their conduct or misconduct, a trai that’s sorely lacking among many Texans today.
Speaking of responsibility, the pharmaceutical companies that sold highly addictive opioid pain pills, like Vicodin and Oxycontin, have partially accepted responsibility for the overdose deaths these drugs caused. But we’re just now starting to feel the effects of the “second wave” of overdose deaths these dangerous drugs caused.
Some pharmaceutical companies have diluted their pain pills and adjusted their marketing strategies (i.e. they no longer aggressively market dangerous drugs in nonwhite communities). But when people got hooked on these pills in the 2010s, they often moved on to heroin or fentanyl. These drugs are much more dangerous than opioid pain pills.
Certainly, the individuals who consumed these drugs bear some responsibility for overdose deaths. But the story doesn’t end there.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers sold pills they knew were dangerous and addictive, as outlined above. Drug distributors shipped boxes full of opioid pain relievers without asking any questions about the shipments, as required by the Controlled Substances Act. Some doctors caved into patient pressure and wrote unnecessary prescriptions. Some property owners turned a blind eye to drug use in their commercial and residential buildings.
Most of these people and entities have a duty of reasonable care. They must protect invitees (invited social or commercial guests) from injury. Doctors have a higher duty of care. Their fiduciary duty requires them to disregard making money and every other priority, and focus solely on what’s best for their patients.
Property owners also have a duty of care to prevent other injuries, such as falls and third-party assaults, at least in most cases.
Today’s cars and trucks are bigger and faster than ever. Thos size and speed encourages many people to speed, change lanes unsafely, and otherwise drive aggressively. Driver impairment, mostly alcohol impairment, is also a huge problem. During the aforementioned coronavirus pandemic, many drivers acquired bad habits, such as driving drunk. Typically, bad habits are easy to form and hard to break.
Aggressive and impaired driving breach the duty of reasonable care, which also applies to most motorists in Texas. If a breach of duty substantially causes injury, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is legally responsible for damages.
Sometimes, a third party is financially responsible for damages. For example, if the tortfeasor was an Uber driver or other commercial operator, the company might be financially responsible for damages, because of the respondeat superior doctrine. Employers are responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of their employment.
Contact a Diligent Fort Bend County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.