Gamez Injury Lawyers understand that any situation that would require you to even think about contacting an Injury Lawyer in San Antonio, is not a happy situation. When a loved one dies, it is hard for everyone who was close to him or her. They have to worry about funeral costs and arrangements, taking care of the estate, all while they are grieving. When a loved one is killed due to the actions of another, an additional factor is added to this; what do they do about the person who is responsible? In some situations, it is wise and necessary to take legal action. These are serious matters and the Injury Lawyers at the Gamez Law Firm are sensitive to your trauma.
Last August, Samuel Gilberto Pedraza was driving on U.S. Highway 359 when he slowed down to stop at a red light. Also on the road was Laura Sanchez-Saldaña, a woman coming home from multiple bars. She did not slow down, and she crashed into Pedraza’s car, killing him. Pedraza’s widow filed a case in April, naming Sanchez-Saldaña, two local bars, and a few of their employees as defendants. She is seeking over one million dollars in damages
Pedraza is alleging negligence, and claims that the bars the Old No. 2 and the TKO Sports Café were negligent in serving Sanchez-Saldaña alcohol when she was clearly intoxicated. Even further, Pedraza alleged that the bartenders knew that Sanchez-Saldaña intended to drive after she left and continued to serve her after the bar closed. For their parts, the bars and employees filed responses denying all of the allegations. Additionally, the bars pointed out that their employees had completed a program regarding serving to intoxicated people, which had been approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Wrongful Death in Texas
This case fits the typical wrongful death mold. In Texas, “a person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.” One can only bring a wrongful death action if they are the surviving spouse of the deceased, the children, or the parents. So here, Pedraza’s widow is entitled to bring the action. The next step is that it must be within the two-year statute of limitations, which here it is the case. The accident occurred in August 2015 and Pedraza filed in April 2016.
Another element to look at is damages. In Texas, the purpose of wrongful death damages is to compensate the family members for the losses they suffered because their relative has died. Damages can be awarded for things like lost earning capacity, lost care, support, and maintenance, pain and suffering, mental or emotional anguish, and lost inheritance. Depending on the case, sometimes exemplary damages are available. These are also known as punitive damages in other states, and are used to punish the person who caused the death. It will be interesting to see what happens next with this case. The next court hearing will be June 17, 2016. Gamez Law Firm would be honored to be your personal injury lawyer in any wrongful death case in San Antonio.
Need Legal Help?
No one wants to be put in the position to file a wrongful death suit, but it does happen. If you have lost someone recently and fit the qualifications listed above, contact us at The Gamez Law Firm. Our attorneys can help you with the applicable laws and determine what your next steps should be. We San Antonio car accident lawyer that will fight for you.