A 26-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison recently for his role in a wrong-way drunk driving crash that killed a woman and crippled a man in Dallas in March 2012. Toxicology reports indicated that the driver’s blood alcohol content was 0.224 at the time of the crash, nearly three times the legal limit. He was sentenced to 15 years for intoxication manslaughter, to be served concurrently with a 10-year sentence for injuring the man, age 62. The man says he is facing financial ruin and can no longer walk without a cane or enjoy his grandchildren, CBS reported. The sentencing occurred on October 24, 2012.

Just as that story reached its conclusion, the cycle began again: On October 26, a 35-year-old man driving the wrong way down a street in Dallas crashed head-on into vehicle carrying two women and two children. In this case, however, the wrong-way driver was killed, while the four occupants of the other vehicle survived with non-life-threatening injuries.

TxDOT Studying Wrong-way Collisions

As these two crashes suggest, wrong-way collisions are a startlingly common problem in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of North Texas. In fact, the problem has become so pronounced that the Texas Department of Transportation launched a study earlier this year specifically to examine the issue of wrong-way traffic collisions in the state.

According to TxDOT, there were 329 wrong-way crashes on Texas roads in 2011 alone. In a majority of cases – roughly 75 percent – the wrong-way driver was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both. Officials at TxDOT hope to use the results of the study to find ways of reducing the frequency wrong-way crashes in Texas to prevent needless deaths and injuries. One potential solution involves the use of radar to alert law enforcement to wrong-way drivers. Authorities in San Antonio are currently testing such a radar system.

Financial Compensation for Texas crash victims

In addition to the pain and emotional devastation that often occur with a serious injury or the loss of a loved one, accident victims and their families are often forced to struggle with dramatic changes in financial circumstances after a crash, which can easily turn a bad situation worse. At the same time that medical expenses and hospital bills stemming from the crash are draining their resources, people seriously injured a traffic accident may find themselves unable to work, compounding their financial difficulties.

Along with potential criminal prosecution, drunk or reckless drivers who cause injuries to others can face civil liability to those they injure. While a financial settlement can never fully compensate for a serious injury or the death of a family member, a personal injury lawsuit can offer a powerful tool to help families get back on their feet again after a crash. To learn more the options for pursuing compensation after a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer with broad experience representing people injured in traffic accidents in Texas.