Wrongful Death | Lenahan Law Firm Blog
If your loved one was fatally injured under questionable circumstances, you may be wondering whether or not you have a legitimate reason to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Under the law, you would be entitled to damages if you are the statutory beneficiary or someone who was killed by the negligent, reckless or careless actions of another person. In order to be considered a "statutory beneficiary," you must be the deceased's spouse, child or parent. It is also important to understand that a wrongful death lawsuit differs from a survival claim, as the Texas Survival Statute states that this type of claim can only be brought by the deceased's heir or estate representative. They would be able to assert a personal injury claim that the deceased would have been able to assert, had they survived the accident—which could be for damages that include lost wages, medical bills and property damage.
In the state of Texas, property owners are held accountable for the safety of their own premises. This means that they must take reasonable steps to ensure a safe environment for all visitors—which could include remedying any hazardous conditions that arise, conducting regular maintenance and implementing necessary safety measures. Should they fail to do so and a visitor is subsequently hurt, they would be liable for providing the injured party with an adequate level of compensation. Most commonly, premises liability lawsuits are brought against negligent property owners after serious slip and fall accidents, but it is important to understand that these laws are applicable to a wide range of incidents—including those that involve near-drowning or drowning in an inadequately maintained swimming pool.
On the evening of July 21, 2012, a 22-year-old woman, Kayla Breann Lilley, was killed in an ATV accident in Cameron, West Virginia. The accident happened while she was riding on the back of an all-terrain vehicle that was being driven by 23-year old Casey Hill, near the community of Adaline. 911 dispatchers received a call around 6:30 p.m., and were told that a serious accident involving a male and female rider had taken place. Upon arrival, Chief Deputy Kevin Cecil found that the "ATV had rolled over several times, going about 30 feet over an embankment," and had subsequently pinned the female victim underneath the heavy vehicle.