Mercedes man killed in collision with 18-wheeler

by Benjamin Treviño | June 30th, 2023 | Blog

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating a two-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 61-year-old Mercedes man. According to DPS, the collision happened June 23 at about 9:59 p.m.

According to a news release, 61-year-old Benigno Montiel of Mercedes was driving south on Farm Road 491 in a 2008 maroon Ford Mustang. The DPS report states Montiel ran a stop sign at the intersection of U.S. Highway 281, and his vehicle crashed into a semi-truck towing a tanker trailer.

“(The Mustang) drove under the tanker’s undercarriage, and (was) dragged several feet before stopping on the right side of the bar ditch,” DPS said in the release.

The report states Montiel died at the scene due to his injuries. No charges have been filed in connection with the crash.


Summary of Texas’ Comparative Fault Laws

When it comes to Texas personal injury claims and car accidents, fault or liability is a big issue. Generally speaking, the more liable a claimant is, the more trouble he or she will have when trying to get compensation from the other party.

The State of Texas handles the fault issue through a 51 percent modified comparative negligence law. What this means is that a claimant can demand compensation from a defendant as long as that claimant is less than 51 percent at fault for their own injuries and damages.

Once a claimant is 51 percent liable, or greater, the court will block their attempts to file a claim or lawsuit against the other party (or parties). The same applies to families seeking compensation for the death of a relative.

Texas’ modified comparative negligence law also means a claimant’s recovery will be reduced by a percentage equal to their liability.

Example: a truck accident claimant sues a trucking company for $100,000 in damages. But, an investigation finds that the claimant was 40 percent at fault for causing their own injuries. In this situation, the largest settlement offer the claimant could expect would be $60,000. Of course, this presumes the case went to court and the plaintiff succeeded.

Legal representation is important

Because of Texas’ Comparative Negligence Law, evidence is the claimant’s most-effective tool for keeping their level of liability as low as possible. Convincing evidence can even prove (both in and out of court) that a claimant should not be seen as even one percent liable for their accident.

Everything from police reports to medical records can be useful, which is why you need someone like the J. Gonzalez Law Firm on your side to help you collect the vital evidence you need. If you need help collecting and using proof of liability for your claim, call us today at 1-800-CAR-CRASH for a free initial consultation.




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