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Legal Blog

The Kobe Bryant Wrongful Death Case: What the Law Says?

News of the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his young daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a California helicopter crash in late January stunned the world. His widow has now filed a wrongful death case against the helicopter company and the estate of the pilot.

Sometimes an accident is just that. But often a tragedy results from negligence.

The experienced Houston personal injury lawyers with The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help determine if a lawsuit should be filed after an aviation crash. Our firm has experience in these accidents, including an almost $10 million recovery in a wrongful death helicopter crash.

For a free case evaluation, call The Krist Law Firm, P.C at (281) 283-8500.

The Bryant Wrongful Death Claim

At the heart of the Kobe Bryant case are allegations that the helicopter company and its pilot, who also died, were negligent in flying that morning. Specifically, the suit alleges the pilot was reckless and careless because he didn’t abort the flight, monitor the weather, or keep a safe distance from natural objects.

The pilot’s employer, Island Express, is also named in the lawsuit as vicariously liable through a legal term called “respondeat superior.” This means “let the master answer.” In other words, the company had a duty to prevent its employee from committing careless and reckless acts and is liable for the resulting damages.

For Bryant’s widow to prevail, she must prove that the pilot and Island Express owed her husband and daughter duties of care and those duties were breached. Two of those elements, a duty of care, and that death occurred, are not at issue. The entire case will hinge upon whether the pilot was careless and reckless.

Why Did Vanessa Bryant File a Lawsuit?

When the news broke that Vanessa Bryant filed suit for damages related to the death of her loved ones, some immediately criticized the move saying, “She doesn’t need the money.”

Although monetary damages are part of such legal actions, consider that wrongful death lawsuits also serve the public by punishing individuals and companies that cut corners or take risks. In other words, aviation companies and their pilots will be reminded to always use the highest standard of care to avoid loss of life.

Wrongful Death Cases in Texas

Texas also has a law allowing for legal claims related to wrongful death caused by the negligent, careless, or intentional acts of another. The law allows for certain family members to bring a claim for damages for the death of their loved one.

Unfortunately, during a time of sorrow and deep personal devastation, you may be forced to consider whether legal action should be brought. Because the statute of limitations for such claims is two years from the date of death, you can’t risk a delay. Our attorneys can help investigate the circumstances to determine if negligence could be to blame.

If we determine a lawsuit is warranted, we will also determine what damages should be sought. In Texas, you can request economic and non-economic damages. If liability is found, some damages that are likely for recovery include medical costs, funeral expenses, and loss of income.

Keep in mind that insurance companies may be pressuring you to settle any claims you may have against those at fault. It is important that you seek legal counsel before agreeing to a settlement. The insurance company is not your friend, no matter how sincere, caring, or friendly the claims adjuster sounds.

One of our experienced Houston wrongful death lawyers at The Krist Law Firm can explain this process to you. If you believe your loved one died as a result of someone’s negligence, it is important that you contact us right away.

We Can Help with Aviation Accident Issues

Whether you have been seriously hurt or lost a loved one in an airplane or helicopter crash, we can help. The Krist Law Firm’s experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys understand the possible legal claims to get the compensation you and your family deserve.

Call our skilled and successful Houston injury team at (281) 283-8500 for a free case evaluation.