We at The Kane Law Firm have the specialized skill set and ability to handle your wrongful death case. Dr. Walter Kane is both a lawyer and medical doctor. He not only understands the human physiology and pathology related to death, but also Texas law related to wrongful death. Give us a call at The Kane Law Firm. A lawyer will talk to you directly about your family’s wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligent act of another. Some examples of wrongful death include death while driving a car because of brake malfunction. Death as a result of negligent surgery or hospital care is wrongful death. The death of a construction worker while falling from a building because the employer did not provide adequate safety equipment is another example of wrongful death.
We at the Kane law Firm handle all types of wrongful death claims including claims related to; swimming pool deaths, work injury, oil spills, chemical spills, boat accident, off shore accidents, truck accidents, 18 wheeler accidents, car accidents, plane accidents, amusement park accidents, personal injury, negligent supervision, negligent safety precautions, medical malpractice, negligent nursing home deaths, negligent sale of alcohol by a bar or restaurant.
In Texas the Civil Practice & Remedies Code (CPRC) Chapter 71 addresses the law regarding lawsuits for wrongful death. In Texas you can be responsible for wrongful death even if you were not directly negligent but rather if the negligence was conducted by one of your agent’s or servant’s. The negligent act performed could have been a wrongful act, an act performed carelessly, an act performed unskillfully, or performed in fault.
A wrongful death action can only be brought under Chapter 71 if the person who wrongfully died, had he lived, would have an action for negligence against the person that injured him. CPRC sect 71.003. This section excludes a wrongful death claim from an unborn child against the following people; his/her mother, a physician or licensed healthcare provider who is performing a lawful medical practice or procedure, or a person who dispenses or gives a drug in accordance with the law.
A law suit for wrongful death can only be brought by the spouse, children, and parents. If none of these family members have brought a law suit for wrongful death, after three months the executor of the estate may bring a wrongful death suit. CPRC section 71.004.
Damages awarded in a wrongful death suit shall be divided in respective shares among the entitled family members as found by the jury. CPRC section 71.010.
An award in a wrongful death suit is not subject to any debtor liens against the deceased. CPRC section 71.011.
CPRC section 71.021 states that the cause of action for personal injury does not go away at the time of death of the person who got injured or the person who was liable for the injury, but rather it survives. The claim against the perpetrator of the personal injury survives in favor of the heirs, legal representatives, and estate of the deceased. The claim against a defendant who dies then survives against his legal representative.
The statute of limitation of a wrongful death action is 2 years. CPRC section 16.003(b). The provision of tolling the statute of limitations for minors of CPRC section 74.251 does not apply in wrongful death. There may be one exception to toll the statute of limitation in wrongful death and that is if the injury that lead to the death caused mental incompetence up to the time of death then the statute may be tolled. Felan, 857 S.W.2d 113, 118 (C.C. 1993, denied)