Although every family hopes that none of its members will suffer a wrongful death due to the negligence of a third party, the fact is that these types of accidents are very common in the United States. In fact, the 5 leading causes of wrongful death may impact a family at any time and place.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Unlike a normal accident, a wrongful death is distinguished by the at fault party behaving in a way that shows careless or negligent disregard for the safety of others. Thus, it was the at fault party’s behavior that directly resulted in the death of the victim.
Examples of negligent behaviors that can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit include the following:
• Driving or working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Failing to post hazardous areas.
• Selling or using defective equipment.
• Failing to adequately train workers and tenants in how to respond to a workplace emergency.
The Most Common Sources of Wrongful Deaths
Today, there are a wide range of actions that can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may involve more than one defendant, especially if the death was due to the actions of a business or other organization.
Automobile accidents usually involve a negligent driver, who is in many cases driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, a rising number of accidents are the result of drivers who are texting or speaking on their cell phone while driving. With nearly 40,000 people dying in auto-involved accidents every year, this is the most common of the 5 leading causes of wrongful death.
Medical malpractice lawsuits result when a death is caused due to the negligence of a surgeon, nurse or the supervising staff during the course of the victim’s medical treatment. The elderly are especially likely to become the victims of medical malpractice, especially those who are living in eldercare or assisted living facilities.
Every employer has a legal duty to maintain a safe workplace. However, many wrongful deaths occur due to avoidable accidents brought on by defective equipment, improper safety guidelines or the lack of effective employee training policies.
Defective products, either due to defects in the product’s design or the failure to abide by proper manufacturing procedures, can result in the death of the product’s owner or operator. This is especially true for unsafe toys and childcare equipment, which can cause injury or death to a family’s children.
When an individual is killed as a direct or indirect result of criminal activity, the victim’s family may sue the defendant for the wrongful death. The wrongful death lawsuit is an independent legal action and does not require that the defendant be found guilty by a criminal court.
No matter which one of the 5 leading causes of wrongful death a family has been victimized by, obtaining effective compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit requires skilled legal assistance. A family that has suffered a wrongful death should immediately contact the law firm of Eric J. Hertz, P.C. in order to ensure that their case will receive the experienced assistance it deserves.