What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death?

Losing a loved one is already hard enough under any circumstances. But when your family member’s death is the result of an accident or someone else’s negligence, the stress and paperwork that ensues from filing a wrongful death lawsuit can make the grieving process even more difficult. A wrongful death lawyer can ease that burden for you, so that you are able to focus on spending time with your family and grieving your lost loved one. Here are some common causes of wrongful death that most frequently lead to lawsuits.

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

According to the National Safety Council, about 38,000 people in the United States were killed in car accidents in 2019. Wrongful death from car accidents encompasses drunk or distracted driving cases, pedestrian fatalities, road construction incidents, and other accidents that involve the death of either motorists or passengers. 

When it comes to large truck accidents, 4,136 people died in 2018, but the majority of fatalities were to occupants of cars and other vehicles rather than truck drivers. This is most likely due to the massive size difference between a semi-truck and a regular car, with a car bearing the brunt of a collision.

The statistics for motorcycle accidents are even more grim. Over 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents lead to serious injury or death of the motorcycle rider, primarily because a motorcycle does not provide head protection like a car does, and motorcyclists are more likely than automobile drivers to be ejected from their vehicles. 

Airplane accidents also lead to wrongful death lawsuits sometimes, but are significantly less common than car, truck, and motorcycle accidents.

Product Liability Cases

Product liability refers to a manufacturing company, retailer, distributor, or other party being held responsible if a defective product causes injury or death to consumers. Product liability cases deal with design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects such as failing to warn customers that a product is faulty or dangerous. Some of the most prominent product liability cases in recent history include a 2002 lawsuit against Philip Morris Tobacco, the infamous 1994 McDonald’s “hot coffee” lawsuit, and the Takata airbag recall that is still currently in progress. 

In order to get compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death, you must be able to prove that the manufacturer or other party was responsible for selling a defective and harmful product, and that they neglected their duty to test, recall, or warn the public about the faulty product.

Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice occurs when the actions of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional deviate from the accepted standard of care, resulting in injury or death to the patient. It is estimated that up to 200,000 people die in the United States each year due to medical accidents. 

Common examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition, childbirth injuries (including maternal death), surgical errors, anesthesia mistakes, and prescription drug errors. Doctors and surgeons have extensive medical malpractice insurance to protect them if these types of incidents occur, and the vast majority of medical malpractice lawsuits end up being settled outside of court.

If you have lost a loved one as the result of a fatal accident or the negligence of a company, doctor, or other individual, going through a legal battle is probably the last thing you want to do. Between funeral arrangements, medical bills, coordinating logistics with family members, and the emotional anguish of shock and grief, you have enough on your plate already. An experienced wrongful death attorney can take care of all the legal details for you, and help you get the compensation you deserve for your loved one’s wrongful death.