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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Famed Voiceover Artist Dies in Parachuting Accident in Texas

Who is liable in the event of a parachuting accident?

Randy Schell, a well-known voiceover artist whose work appears in several popular TV shows, such as Dancing With the Stars and Fear the Walking Dead, recently died in a parachuting accident in Houston.  The accident occurred when Schell collided with another skydiver when skydiving with Houston’s Skydive Spaceland.  Skydive Spaceland released a statement claiming that both jumpers involved in the accident had made at least one successful skydive earlier in the day.  The jumpers deployed their parachutes in a normal manner than collided afterwards.  Schell did not survive the landing.

Skydiving and Wrongful Death

The United States Parachute Association states that more than three million people skydive across the United States each year.  In 2015, 21 skydivers were killed.  Skydiving involves immense risks, and those who participate in the activity recognize its potential dangers.  However, when a skydiving instructor or company negligently causes a skydiver’s death or serious injury, they can be held accountable in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Texas wrongful death statute provides that a person will be liable for damages arising from injuries that lead to an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, or unskillfulness.  Examples of negligence in skydiving could include an improperly packed parachute, inadequate instruction of participants, skydiving from an inappropriate altitude, and more.  

If you have lost a loved one in a skydiving or another type of accident in Texas, you may be able to seek compensation from the individual or person responsible.  Wrongful death cases are complex and involve high stakes.  The parents, children, and spouse of the deceased individual may file a wrongful death claim in Texas.  Damages for the loss of your loved one could include:

  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Mental and emotional pain and suffering
  • Lost inheritance
  • Loss of maintenance, care, and counsel

In a few cases, exemplary damages will be awarded to punish the negligent individual that caused your loved one’s death.  Anyone who has lost a loved one in an accident stemming from negligence should consult with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.


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