When a death results from someone else’s negligence, it is termed a wrongful death. In such a case, while nothing can bring back your loved one, filing a wrongful death claim can help you get justice and hold the responsible party accountable.
Furthermore, a successful wrongful death claim can also help ease the financial burden caused by the untimely death of your loved one. But first, understand the common causes of wrongful death.
Car accidents are probably the top cause of wrongful death. Every year, thousands of people die in car crashes, many of which are preventable if the driver is cautious.
However, not every death resulting from a car crash is a wrongful death. For death after a car accident to qualify as wrongful death, the bereaved family should prove that the accident resulted from the other driver’s negligence.
Some instances where death after a car accident is a wrongful death are if the driver:
- Was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Was speeding or driving recklessly
- Was tired or asleep at the wheel
- Was distracted while driving
In the same way, suppose the accident resulted from faulty car parts such as brakes or tires. In that case, the automaker may be at fault, and you can file a claim against them.
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, negligently causes a patient’s death.
For example, if your loved one dies because their doctor fails to diagnose their cancer early, that would be considered medical malpractice. Other examples include prescribing the wrong medication or performing surgery on the wrong body part.
Proving medical malpractice can be tricky since you must show that the death wouldn’t have occurred if the healthcare professional was not negligent. But things get more manageable with the help of a personal injury lawyer who knows how to investigate and build a strong case.
Sadly, every year there are workplace accidents that result in death. These accidents are more prevalent in high-risk industries such as construction and agriculture. Some common causes of workplace accidents in these industries include slips and falls and exposure to hazardous materials.
To file a wrongful death claim stemming from a workplace accident, you must prove that the employer’s negligence was the cause of death. For instance, if your loved one dies in a slip-and-fall accident, you need to show that the employer knew about the hazard and did nothing to fix the issue.
Suppose your loved one consumes or uses a defective product that causes their death. In that case, you can file a claim against the company that manufactured or sold the product.
To win a defective product wrongful death case, you will need to prove that your loved one would still be alive if they hadn’t used the defective product. For instance, if your loved one dies after using a defective power tool, you can file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured or sold the product.
If your loved one’s death stems from someone else’s intentional or reckless actions, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim alongside the criminal charge of murder.
For example, if your loved one is killed during a robbery, the robber can be charged with their wrongful death. Also, if your loved one meets an untimely death due to domestic violence, the abuser can be charged with wrongful death.
You can trust William J. Cooley, Personal Injury Attorney, to help you through this difficult time. We have the experience and resources necessary to build a strong case on your behalf. Contact us to schedule a consultation.