What Happens When Someone Dies in a Car Accident?

In Texas, 2014 saw 3,189 fatal accidents resulting in 3,534 deaths; up 3.7% from 2013.

Drivers who unintentionally cause accidents that result in the deaths of passengers, occupants of other cars or pedestrians may find themselves charged with a crime. If you are involved in an accident in which you were the driver of a vehicle and someone dies, it is advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

In the state of Texas, manslaughter is the term used to identify motor-vehicle accident related deaths where negligence applies. There are two sub-categories: intoxication manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter.

  • Intoxication manslaughter: a death was caused by the driver being intoxicated at the time of the accident. Intoxication can refer to any substance – alcohol, legal, or illegal drug – that hampered the driver’s ability to appropriately handle the vehicle.
  • Vehicular manslaughter: a death was caused by the reckless action of the operator a motor vehicle. This could include speeding, racing, running a red light, etc.

There are varying degrees of sentencing and fines associated with each category of manslaughter charge. Again, it is important to speak with an Austin auto accident attorney relatively quickly subsequent to the accident.