Austin is no stranger to car accidents, but this year has seen an increase in the number of crashes that have ended in a fatality. In 2012, 62 people were killed in fatal car crashes. A recent crash on Loop 360 claimed the 65th fatality of the year, and there are still several weeks left in 2013.

The Oct. 26 accident occurred when a Hyundai rear-ended a Nissan around 10 p.m., south of Pennybacker bridge. One passenger in the Nissan, a 26-year-old woman, was transported to a hospital, but she later died from her injuries. Two other passengers in the vehicle also suffered injuries, though they were considered non-life-threatening.

According to the Austin Police Department, alcohol might have been a contributing factor. The Vehicular Homicide Unit of the APD is investigating the accident. It is not known whether any charges have been filed, nor has there been any mention regarding whether or not the driver of the Hyundai was injured.

A fatal crash such as this one will require a thorough investigation because of the injuries and fatality. A crash reconstruction team will piece together what happened by examining the area, doing a complete inspection of all the cars involved and speaking to as many as possible who were involved in the accident. Anyone who witnessed the accident will also be interviewed.

Whether or not alcohol was a factor, in most cases, a rear-end accident is the fault of the driver who struck the car in front of him or her. For those who were injured as well as the family of the woman who was killed, seeking compensation for their losses is an option. Those who were injured could seek financial relief for medical expenses, other bills incurred due to the accident and lost wages. For the surviving family, compensation for medical bills, final expenses and loss of companionship can also be sought. A legal professional experienced in these types of situations can help people who are considering taking the action to determine if it is the best approach.

Source: KXAN.com, “West Austin crash leaves 1 dead” No author given, Oct. 28, 2013