No life event is more tragic and devastating than losing a loved one, especially when the death is unexpected and a result of unnatural causes. A wrongful death refers to the death of an individual caused by the negligence, carelessness, wrongful act, or lack of skill of a person, agent, or corporation. Although this is a broad definition, it is applicable in a wide range of situations.
When a person dies under any of these circumstances, the surviving family has the legal right to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the defendant. Although it won’t bring their deceased loved one back, it enables them to recover different damages and expenses, including healthcare costs, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of inheritance, and burial expenses. In order to receive compensation, the plaintiff and their legal representative must be able to prove the negligent actions of the defendant caused the death.
The Common Causes of Wrongful Death
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the fourth leading cause of death is unintentional injury, resulting in more than 130,000 deaths annually across the country. Most wrongful death cases involve one of the following types of accidents.
A staggering number of wrongful death cases involve fatalities from traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 40,000 people die in vehicle accidents every year in the United States. The lawsuits and claims filed by the deceased’s family members in such cases are against commercial truck drivers, motorists, automobile manufacturers, and roadway government agencies.
Commercial Truck Accidents
When a typical commercial truck is involved in a road accident, the outcomes are quite serious, which mostly results in a fatality. Most of the time, the trucker or the trucking company is at fault. They can be held liable for the wrongful death due to their failure to maintain proper driving hours, follow mandatory regulations, drive within weight limits, drunk driving, or over-speeding.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 4,400 workers die on the job each year in the United States. Leading the list of the most dangerous occupations is the construction industry, as most deaths take place on-site due to unsafe working conditions. Since the company is responsible for providing a safe working environment, adequate equipment, and proper safety training, the surviving family members can file a claim or lawsuit against the employer.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients to provide a certain level of healthcare and ensure their well being. Unfortunately, some medical practitioners fail to provide the standard care, and their negligent actions lead to the death of the patient.
Common types of medical malpractice include anesthesia errors, surgical errors, defective medical equipment, misdiagnosis, birth injuries, and prescription errors. Based on the evidence, the deceased’s family may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the doctor or the hospital for medical malpractice.
Regardless of the cause of wrongful death, it is essential that you hire an experienced and reliable wrongful death attorney for aggressive legal representation. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.