While on a double date with friends, beautiful 18-year-old Megan Hernandez died after being hit by a drunk driver southbound on Highway 99 close to the 12th Avenue exit. The tragedy, which happened February 15, was compounded by the fact that the drunk driver, Rodney Thurman, 39, fled the scene on foot after the crash. The three others in the car with Megan survived with injuries, while Megan left behind a mother and twin brother, Patrick. Thurman later turned himself in and was charged with vehicular manslaughter and a felony hit-and-run.
The heartbreak of a car crash resulting in injuries and death is devastating for everyone, and even more so when the family is financially not prepared for the unanticipated expenses. Megan’s family turned to gofundme.com to help raise funds for funeral and other expenses. They have been able to raise over $2,000 from 49 donations, but it is still not enough to cover the expenses.
Road accidents in McAllen, Texas for this year alone have now reached a high of 103, involving cars, bicycles, trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians.
If you are a victim of an accident, there are legal remedies that entitle you to financial compensation. You will be questioned on the details of the accident, as well as information on:
- date, time, and place of the accident
- type of accident and collision
- injuries received and treatment required
- fatalities, if any
- names of everyone directly affected by the accident
- a recount of the events that took place
- insurance details, if any
You will also have to provide a police report, copies of documents such as registration papers, driver’s licenses, and insurance policy.
Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has placed safety features along all roads and major highways, and is constantly monitoring the road network and doing everything it can to keep everyone on the road safe from harm, accidents will happen. People get distracted while driving, drive while intoxicated, swerve to avoid a potential crash only to crash with someone else, or experience mechanical problems.
For victims, it’s not enough that the other party who caused the accident is caught. Justice must be served because lives are disrupted and many individuals suffer permanent changes. This means loss of life, disabilities, loss of income, loss of property, lifelong medical treatment, higher insurance premiums, and an array of other unexpected and unwanted changes.
To survive a trauma like a road accident and be able to move forward, regardless of the situation, usually requires some form of restitution. Under the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of the State of Texas, restitution is financial compensation that an offender owes the victim. In the case of Megan Hernandez, her family has the right to seek assistance from a McAllen personal injury attorney to help obtain compensation. Under Texas law, DUI-related accidents and drunk driving cases fall under the criminal courts. The criminal courts are obligated to impose payment of restitution by the offender to the victim or her family as part of a probation order or a condition for probation. The compensation amount is usually calculated based on the personal injury damages. Restitution under McAllen Texas law cannot go away until it is fully paid, not even for bankruptcy. This is a debt of the offender that will never expire.