The death of a loved one is a highly stressful and emotionally devastating life event for bereaved family members and friends. It’s even more traumatic, especially if caused by someone’s negligence, or what’s referred to as wrongful death.
The law allows you to file a wrongful death lawsuit if a loved one dies due to another person’s wrongful acts. In this case, the person responsible should compensate you for both economic and non-economic damages. These include the expenses you incurred on medical and funeral expenses, the loss of the victim’s expected wages, mental suffering you may have experienced, and the loss of companionship from the deceased, to name a few. However, for more favorable results for your case, working with a reputable legal professional is essential.
Wrongful deaths can occur due to various situations. The common types include the following:
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1. Car Accidents
Car accidents are the most filed cases for wrongful death. This occurs when two or more cars collide, leaving victims dead. Some causes of car accidents include drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, violation of traffic rules, aggressive driving, not paying attention to the road and fatigue.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 40,000 people died due to traffic crashes and car collisions last year. But what state has the most fatal car accidents in the US? Based on their report, the top 5 states with the most fatality involving motor vehicle crashes include Texas, California, Florida, Georgina, and North Carolina.
And while most car accidents tend to happen due to the negligence of the other party, there may also be instances wherein poor road conditions are to blame. In such a case, the city or state may be liable.
2. Pedestrian Accidents
Aside from car crashes, pedestrian accidents are another example of wrongful death lawsuits that involve negligent driving. This may occur when a pedestrian is knockout by a car or a motorcycle.
Generally, pedestrians don’t have any protection. Therefore, they can be vulnerable while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk. This could also mean that, should they get hit by a vehicle, they may sustain severe injuries or even death. Much like car accidents, this can be caused by negligence or recklessness on the driver’s part while on the road. It can be due to them driving under the influence or failing to see the pedestrian in front of them. But whichever the case, they can be held accountable for the victim’s death.
3. Medical Malpractice
It’s common to visit a hospital when you get sick or have concerns about your physical health. For one, this allows you to consult a medical professional and seek the proper treatment or medication to aid in your recovery.
And while healthcare professionals are qualified and skilled and their field, doctors and nurses are humans, too, and they make mistakes. This can either be with their diagnosis, when prescribing medications or a patient’s treatment plan, or errors when performing surgery. And in some cases, this can result in a patient’s death.
If your loved one dies as a result of a medical professional’s negligence or carelessness, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This way, you can seek compensation for all the damage you’ve suffered due to the loss of your loved one. However, you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the doctors acted negligently or did nothing to prevent the death from happening.
4. Workplace Accidents
Essentially, part of the responsibility of employers is to provide their employees with a safe working environment to perform their duties. However, there may be instances where accidents can happen within the workplace. For instance, an employee may slip and fall, or an unfortunate incident can happen when operating defective machines and other equipment. If the family believes there’s negligence on the employer’s part or that they failed to safeguard the well-being of their employees, they can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation.
5. Defective Products
While a majority of manufacturers are keen to produce safe products for their customers, there may be cases wherein they come up with and sell defective products, which may hurt consumers or pose health risks to the extent of causing death. Some of the common products causing wrongful deaths include defective motor vehicles, pharmaceutical goods, toxic food and drinks, and dangerous children’s toys.
As you’ve seen in this article, there are many scenarios wherein you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. By pursuing a case, the at-fault part of the accident can be held liable by compensating for the damages you may have sustained due to the death of a loved one. But considering how complex it can be to prove the other party’s negligence and win your case, it’s always recommended to work with a reputable legal professional.