DPS: Man killed in rollover crash

by Benjamin Treviño | June 26th, 2023 | Blog

PORT ISABEL — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating a fatal one-vehicle crash. The accident happened June 25 around 3:11 a.m. just south of Port Isabel.

According to a DPS news release, 18-year-old Damian Martinez of Brownsville died after he was ejected from a 2008 Mercedes Benz. Martinez was driving eastward on State Highway 48 when he approached a curve and, “went over the shoulder and through a grassy area,” the release stated.

DPS says the vehicle rolled over multiple times, and Martinez, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the automobile. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An unidentified passenger was taken to Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, but his condition was not immediately known.

DPS believe alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, but the agency is waiting for autopsy results.

The crash is under an ongoing investigation.


Seat belts and personal injury cases

Under Texas law, it’s mandatory for drivers and all passengers wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle on a public road. Wearing a seat belt has become a habit for most of us most of the time, but sometimes we forget, and once in a while we might momentarily unbuckle to adjust our clothing, or reach for something.

If you’re involved in an accident when you aren’t wearing a seat belt, you can be given a ticket even after a crash. More importantly, you could suffer much more significant injuries because of it.

Impact on personal injury claim

Not wearing a seat belt can have a negative effect on your personal injury claim, especially if the injuries could have been avoided by wearing one.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t file a personal injury claim if the accident happened because of someone else’s negligence. Regardless of whether you were wearing a seat belt or not, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt if the other person’s vehicle hadn’t hit yours. So, it is still the liable party’s responsibility to compensate you for your injuries if they were the one who caused the crash.

If the victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, the judge in the case can choose to lower the compensation, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a victim is seeking $1,000,000 in compensation to cover their losses, the judge may reduce that award to $500,000 if he/she rules the victim was partially at fault for their own injuries by failing to wear a seat belt.

Legal advice

Every case is different when it comes to the use of seat belts. In some cases, wearing a belt wouldn’t have changed the outcome at all. In others, it would have made a significant difference. The personal injury attorneys at the J. Gonzalez Law Firm can review the circumstances of your case, and let you know if it could hurt your personal injury claim. If we take on your case, we will still fight to get you as much compensation as possible to cover your losses. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 1-800-CAR-CRASH.


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