Mercedes crash leaves one dead, one critically injured

by Benjamin Treviño | December 20th, 2023 | Auto Accident, Fatal Crash

MERCEDES – One woman was killed and another was left critically injured in a December 15 car crash in Mercedes. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the crash occurred at about 4:36 p.m. on Interstate 2.

A DPS news release states a Ford Focus collided with a Dodge Ram on the highway, but did not provide details on how the collision occurred. Both victims were in the Ford Focus, according to the report. Vanessa Villarreal Moreno, 41, of Harlingen, is said to have died at the scene of the crash. She was a passenger in the vehicle. The driver, a woman whose name was not released, was transported to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, where she was last reported in critical condition.

The driver of the Dodge, an unidentified male, was not transported to a hospital, DPS said in the release.

The investigation into the crash remained ongoing at this writing.



Automobile accident claims for injured passengers

Passengers who are injured in car accidents are entitled to file a personal injury claim even if they were in the same car as the at-fault driver. If the victim is killed, surviving relatives may do so on their behalf.

In a single-vehicle accident, the driver is typically the responsible party. If the driver crashes due to being intoxicated, distracted by a cell phone, or some other negligent act, he or she could possibly be held 100 percent liable for any injuries suffered by passengers.

If one of the passengers distracted the driver, that would lessen the driver’s culpability.

Determination of fault is more complex when more than one vehicle is involved. Some percentage of the negligence that caused the accident could fall on more than one driver. A personal injury attorney would have to establish fault through evidence such as the police accident report and witness statements.

Filing a claim

Texas uses an at-fault personal injury system, which means culpability is measured on a percentage basis. Victims typically begin their claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. For crashes involving multiple vehicles, an injured passenger can file a claim on each driver. Compensation from each driver would depend on the degree of negligence and level of involvement in the accident.

In assigning liability, Texas uses the rule of comparative fault, which means the actions of each involved party is considered when determining liability. Each party isassigned a percentage of the total liability based on his or her negligence.

Call J. Gonzalez

If you believe you have a personal injury claim as a passenger, you should discuss your legal options with the personal injury attorneys at the J. Gonzalez Law Firm. J. Gonzalez works on a contingency fee basis, which means you would only have to pay out of any compensation you receive.

Contact one of our experienced attorneys today via this website, or by calling 1-800-CAR-CRASH.




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