The death of a loved one can be a very difficult thing for all the family members involved. Not only do they have to take care of funeral proceedings and distribute the potential assets inherited, but they also have to deal with the emotional impact of this tragic effect.
Things are even worse when the death is not a natural one but rather caused by someone else’s negligence. This is when wrongful death occurs.
Wrongful death is a person’s death caused by another individual’s negligent or wrongful actions. It’s not that easy to prove that someone is liable for this type of death. With the help of an attorney, though, your rate of success increases. If you want to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, this page has more information about it.
What exactly are the most common types of wrongful deaths, though? Let’s find out!
1. Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice refers to a case where a healthcare professional does something that results in the patient getting injured.
Most of the time, nurses and doctors have enough knowledge and skills to help patients go through their difficult situations. At the same time, you must remember that anyone makes mistakes – therefore, doctors and nurses are no exception.
Sometimes, healthcare providers may either omit something or use the incorrect procedures. This could lead to permanent damage to the patient, but may even result in death – and here’s where wrongful death occurs.
Generally, situations that could result in death due to medical malpractice include:
- Pharmaceutical mistakes
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Lack of informed consent
- Malfunctioning medical equipment
- Surgical mistakes
- Wrong or delayed treatment
2. Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle can be pretty fun and will give you a needed sense of freedom. Still, this does not eliminate the dangers that motorcycles bring. Even the most responsible motorcycle driver may be a victim of an accident.
Usually, wrongful death in a motorcycle accident occurs when another driver causes the accident and the motorcycle rider dies because of it. A driver may be unable to notice the rider, or they may lose control of their vehicle and hit other participants in the traffic.
Some injuries that motorcyclists may suffer include:
- Burn injuries
- Brain injuries
- Scarring and broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck and back injuries
3. Truck Accidents
It’s no surprise that truck accidents can be quite severe. The vehicles are often massive, making them harder to stop in case of an emergency.
Many times, accidents happen because a truck carries a huge load. The driver may crash into smaller cars, which could severely injure or even kill the passengers. The oversized load is not the only thing that could lead to a wrongful death caused by a semi-truck, though.
Other factors might be the cause of wrongful death, such as:
- Mechanical errors
- Aggressive driving
- The negligence of the truck company
- Driving the truck during adverse conditions
- The negligence and error of the truck driver
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
4. Car Accidents
Car accidents are very often the cause of wrongful death – and this is mainly because a lot of people have access to cars. A simple mistake is enough to cause a car crash, and the worst part is that this can affect innocent people too.
There are more than 6 million passenger car accidents in the U.S. annually. This means that every single year, over 38,000 individuals die as a result of a car crash.
Car accidents can be caused by various factors such as:
- Weather conditions
- Driving under the influence
- Road defects
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- High speeds
- Road construction and repairs
- Car defects
5. Pedestrian Accidents
Accidents that involve a pedestrian are more likely to result in death, because unlike the one causing the accident, the pedestrian doesn’t have anything to protect them (like the car or airbag protecting the driver). They take the full blow from the vehicle, often dying on the spot.
In most cases, pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers that are speeding or not paying attention to the road signs. However, the city government may also be held liable for these accidents. For example, if there were street impediments or no visible walkways that prevented the driver from seeing the pedestrian, then the government itself may be charged with wrongful death.
6. Workplace Accidents
Deaths occurring at the workplace as a result of negligence from the company can also be deemed wrongful death. For instance, if a worker is placed in an unsafe working environment without the proper training or equipment, leading to illness and/or death, the company is at fault for the death of the employee. Even if the death occurred outside the workplace, if it was caused by the working conditions, the employer can still be held liable.
7. Aviation Accidents
While rare, aviation accidents do still occur – and most of the time, they lead to a fatality – or multiple fatalities, depending on the type of plane. Sometimes, it may be an error on the pilot’s part – in which case, a lawsuit for wrongful death may be filed against them. If a mechanical issue caused the accident, then the wrongful death falls on the airplane manufacturer or the airline.
8. Defective Product
It might be hard to believe, but wrongful death can even be caused by a product error. For instance, if someone is killed by falling furniture and the company is responsible for the defect that resulted in the fall, they will be held liable.
Manufacturers spend a lot of time testing their products before putting them for sale, but mistakes still happen. Therefore, they should be held responsible if someone dies as a result of a defective product.
The Bottom Line
There are many factors that could lead to wrongful death, including road accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice. To prove that it was a case of wrongful death, one has to show evidence that another person’s negligence or carelessness was the reason behind the incident. Having a good lawyer by your side is necessary for these situations.