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The Baez Law Firm, P.C.

The Baez Law Firm, P.C.
San Antonio Top Lawyers and Attorneys

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an extension of car insurance available in Texas, which covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages. PIP pays off regardless of who is at fault and is mandatory in some states, especially those with no-fault laws. PIP coverage may vary from state to state.

PIP can cover within the specified limits, the medical, hospital and funeral expenses of the insured, others in his vehicles and pedestrians struck by him. The basic coverage for the insured's own injuries on a first-party basis, without regard to fault. It is only available in certain states.Personal injury protection insurance is an option that you can purchase when you buy automobile insurance.

PIP pays for your medical expenses and your lost wages when you’re in a car accident or wreck. PIP has two important features. First, there is no subrogation interest; unlike health insurance, if you submit bills to your PIP carrier, you do not have to reimburse the PIP carrier for amounts paid when you receive a verdict or settlement that includes the same bills. And second, you can submit bills to your PIP carrier even if the bills have been paid by your health insurance.

If you have been injured in an accident, we can help. The Báez Law Firm, P.C. is here to protect your legal needs. Call us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our websited or for a free initial consultation. We care about your legal needs.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Texas wrongful death claims and statutes

A wrongful death has occurred when a person is killed due to the negligence or other liability of a person or entity. Surviving beneficiaries and dependents are entitled to monetary damages in instances of wrongful death.

The Texas Legislature in 1860 enacted the original Texas Wrongful Death Statute. The Wrongful Death Act has been amended, codified and recodified over the years and is now Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.The Act provides the exclusive remedy for wrongful death in Texas, compensating the decedent's spouse, parents, and children for the losses they sustained as a result of the decedent's injury and death. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.004(a).

A wrongful death action is separate and distinct from a survival action, where the individual's cause of action for injury to his health, reputation or person survives in favor of his heirs, legal representative, and estate. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.021."A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual's death if the injury was caused by the person/agents or servant's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default." Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.002(b).

Suit may be brought under the Act "only if the individual injured would have been entitled to bring an action for the injury if he had lived." Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.003(a). Under Texas law, plaintiffs bringing a wrongful death action are in the procedural shoes of the victim, and the defenses to victim's personal injury action are defenses to plaintiff's wrongful death claim.

The basic elements of a wrongful death claim are:Death caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of another person or entity. Person or entity was negligent, or strictly liable, for victim's deathThere are surviving beneficiaries or dependentsMonetary damages have resulted from individuals death.

The wrongful death action is subject to all the conditions to which decedent's action would have been subject had he or she only been injured. If a defendant to a wrongful death action dies while the suit is pending, or if an individual against whom an action could be instituted dies before the suit is filed, the individual's executor or administrator may be named as defendant in his place. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.008(a).

The surviving spouse, children and parents may bring the suit. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.004(b). If named beneficiaries do not bring an action within three (3) months of the death of the injured party, the executor or administrator of the estate shall bring the action on behalf of the beneficiaries unless instructed not to do so by all the beneficiaries. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §71.004(c).

A wrongful death cause of action accrues at death, if it exists at all, 2 years from death.The two-year statute of limitations is absolute from the date of death. The so-called "discovery rule" does not apply in wrongful death and survival actions. In death cases raising limitations issues in medical malpractice claims, the courts have determined that, as between the statute of limitations for death claims, §16.003(b) of the Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann., and the statute of limitations set forth in § 74.251. for health care liability claims, the latter applied.

If your love one has been killed due to the negligence of others, please give us a call (210) 979-9777 or visit our websites: for a free initial consultation. Because we care about your legal needs!

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