From a legal standpoint, wrongful death occurs when the carelessness or negligent actions of another individual resulted in a fatality. Accidents are the cause of the majority of wrongful death claims, but other circumstances, such as a defective automobile, are also seen in wrongful death claims. Here are the most common reasons wrongful death cases usually occur.

Car Accidents

Fatalities due to automobile accidents are accountable for a high percentage of wrongful death claims. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 35,092 fatalities in the United States in 2015, which was the first time in 5 decades there was an increase in traffic accident fatalities. When a traffic accident results in an individual’s death, his or her surviving family members could file a claim to seek financial compensation against the parties responsible.

How Wrongful Death Cases Typically Occur

Medical Malpractice/Negligence

Healthcare professionals are required to follow a standard of care when treating patients. The standard of care is a set of regulations and guidelines that ensure patients are provided with safe treatment and care. Although it is the responsibility of physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide patients with safe and quality treatment, there are times when medical professionals breach the standard of care, which results in injuries or death. There are many causes of wrongful death due to medical malpractice or negligence, which include:

  • Birthing injuries or deaths
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Incorrect medication
  • Faulty medical equipment
  • Incorrect diagnosis
  • Nursing home abuse

Workplace Accidents

According to the Department of Labor (DOL), there were 4,836 workers killed in 2015. Workplace accidents are a common cause of wrongful death cases, which can be caused by hazardous work environments such as chemical exposure or machinery accidents. There are common workplace accidents that result in fatalities, which include falls, burns, explosions, faulty equipment, and long term exposure to chemicals. Construction sites, mining sites, and manufacturing plants are common places where wrongful deaths occur.

Product Liability

It is the responsibility of manufactures to provide consumers with safe products. Product liability laws are mandated by states to ensure manufactures, distributors, and product developers are held responsible for producing and distributing products that pose a danger to consumers. If an individual’s death occurs due to a defective product, the victim’s surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the parties responsible.

Commercial Truck Accidents

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has safety regulations and guidelines that trucking companies and truck drivers must follow. The weight of a commercial truck makes it extremely dangerous, so it is important truck drivers follow the DOT safety guidelines at all times. When trucking companies or truck drivers are at fault for an accident that caused a fatality, family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit against them. Commercial trucking companies and truck drivers are liable if regulations are not followed, trucks are not loaded properly, or when truck drivers fail to drive within weight limits.

Criminal Behavior

When an individual breaks the law, which caused the wrongful death of another individual, then he or she can be held responsible for the fatality. A wrongful death lawsuit does not require the responsible party to be charged for the crime before a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, which is because wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed in civil court.

When a fatality has occurred due to the negligence of another party, an attorney who handles wrongful death claims can provide guidance and protect the legal rights of the victim’s family members. If you are a surviving family member of a victim of wrongful death, it is vital to contact an attorney for guidance. If you need legal assistance when it comes to a wrongful death case, you can find important information by going to this website.

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