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by Jeff Rasansky - November 25, 2015
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

What are the numbers regarding wrongful deaths in Texas?

It can be difficult to determine how many fatalities are considered “wrongful deaths” caused by negligence. As a result, this page will discuss accidental and preventable death statistics in the state of Texas.

Auto accident wrongful deaths in Texas.

  • Last year, one person was killed in a Texas car accident every 2 hours and 29 minutes.
  • According to statistics furnished by the Texas Department of Transportation, the fatality rate on Texas roadways in 2014 was 1.42 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. This is an increase of 2.16 percent when compared to 2013.
  • In 2014, the total number of motor vehicle traffic fatalities increased by 3.7 percent. (From 3,408 deaths in 2013 to 3,534 in 2014).
  • In 2014, 463 people were killed in motorcycle accidents. Out of these, 50 percent were not wearing their helmets.
  • With regard to auto-pedestrian accidents, 486 pedestrians lost their lives in Texas in 2014 (a 1.4 percent decrease from 2013).
  • 55.86% of all fatal crashes happened in rural Texas counties (1,974 deaths in 2014).
  • There was not one single deathless day on Texas roads since November 7th, 2000 (over 15 years).
  • In 2014, 483 people were killed in accidents involving a distracted driver.
  • Alcohol also continues to play a significant role as Texas leads the nation in deaths caused by drunk drivers.
    • In 2014 alone, 1,041 people lost their lives in accidents caused by drunk drivers. This represents 29 percent of the total number of people killed in Texas motor vehicle accidents.

Workplace wrongful deaths in Texas.

Unfortunately, Texas also leads the nation in workplace fatalities, and has done so for the past 10 years straight. The good news is that the numbers seem to be trending downward on a year-to-year basis.

  • In 2014, the Lone Star State saw 493 reported on-the-job fatalities (a decline of 8% when compared to the 536 reported workplace deaths in 2013).
While you might attribute these numbers to the large population in Texas, it’s interesting to note that California only reported 385 workplace fatalities and has a larger population than Texas. Florida reported 234 on-the-job fatalities in 2014, and New York reported only 160.
  • While overall, Texas workplace wrongful death numbers fell in 2013, deaths among Latino workers rose by 7 percent from 2012 to 2013.
  • Transportation-related workplace deaths accounted for the largest share of fatalities in this state, followed by contact with objects and equipment.
OSHA, the safety body tasked with the responsibility of enforcing safety rules within the workplace, recently came out with its work-related fatalities report for the fiscal year spanning October 1st 2014 to September 30th 2015. OSHA reports that during this time, there were 1,189 reports of fatalities and catastrophes (where at least three workers were hospitalized).  Out of these, 49 were from the state of Texas.

Wrongful deaths caused by medical errors.

Deaths due to medical errors continue to plague the medical community, who’s responsibility it is to offer quality care and treatment to those who need it.

Public Citizen, a non-profit out of Washington DC released a report in 2003 which stated that there were at least 3,260 to 7,261 preventable deaths in Texas each year caused by medical errors. Another report in 2012 revealed that over 440,000 people across all U.S. states lose their lives to preventable medical errors every year.

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