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Mother and son killed in accident: Who is responsible?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2017 | Blog

A young mother and her toddler where killed in a pedestrian-auto accident. Mom and son were walking along Padre Island Highway when a man in a sports utility vehicle veered off the road and struck them. Both died of injuries sustained by the accident.

The driver, Gustavo Munoz, was charged with one count of criminal negligent homicide after the toddler died, and an additional charge is expected to be added now that the mother has passed as well.

In addition, Munoz has been charged with assault causing bodily injury. Munoz is facing a maximum of up to three years in prison and $14,000 in fines if he is convicted on all charges.

What is the timeline for bringing a wrongful death case?

According to Texas code, wrongful death is a type of personal injury case that arises when someone cause another’s death through “…a wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”

While the reason for the deaths is uncertain and is still being investigated, in this instance, one could argue that Mr. Munoz may have failed to exercise proper care and control of his vehicle and, therefore, his actions were careless.

What is the timeline for bringing a wrongful death case?

All cases, whether civil or criminal, have time limits—also called statute of limitations. This means that a case must be filed before a certain date, or the lawsuit (or charges, if it is a criminal case) cannot be brought. In this case, the statute of limitations is two years.

Does it have to be a car accident?

Wrongful death cases do not just apply to car accidents. They apply to any situation where someone’s negligence or carelessness caused another’s death.

Therefore, they can include anything from a patient who dies on an operating table to a homeowner who did not inform someone of dangerous conditions on their property. Some families of violent crime victims may also be able to file wrongful death claims.

Who handles these cases?

This area of law is called personal injury and, therefore, a personal injury attorney is needed to pursue a wrongful death claim.