CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Causes of Wrongful Death Claims

Injury lawyers know that there are several causes of wrongful death claims.   The term “wrongful death” means that an individual’s death was directly caused by the negligence or wrongful behavior of another person or business.  The death of a loved one always results in grief, but when it was caused by recklessness or carelessness, it can be even more difficult, sometimes resulting in what’s known as complicated grief.  

A wrongful death legal matter can arise from several different situations. Following is a list of the most common types of wrongful death cases handled by injury lawyers.

Watch our YouTube video for further information about wrongful death claims.

Automobile Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are the most frequent cause of wrongful death claims.  This makes sense, given the number of people driving on the roads and the number of car crashes that occur each day.  In California alone, there were more than 3500 fatalities related to automobile accidents in 2019.  

Most fatal car accidents result from the negligence of at least one involved driver.  Examples of negligent behavior include reckless driving, speeding, not paying attention, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a driver is negligent and negligence is the cause of the fatality, the driver may be held responsible for the death.  

Some accidents are caused by dangerous road conditions, in which case a public entity such as the county or city could be found liable.  

An experienced and skilled car accident lawyer can help if you have lost a loved one in a fatal automobile accident.

Occupational Accidents 

Some jobs present an increased risk of injury or death.  For instance, construction and manual labor occupations come with a greater risk of workplace fatalities.  If an employer puts an employee in a dangerous situation, the employer could be held liable if that dangerous situation results in that employee’s death.  

Medical Malpractice

Most medical professionals are highly educated and skilled.  Additionally, hospitals have put into place many safeguards to prevent medical mistakes.  However, mistakes do still occur.  When physicians and nurses are overtired from working long hours, fail to follow procedures, or simply make a mistake, patient injury or death can result.

Common wrongful death scenarios involving medical malpractice include failure to diagnose a condition, misdiagnosis, and surgical errors.

Defective Consumer Products

If a dangerous or defective product is sold to a consumer and causes injury or death, the manufacturer of the product can be held liable.  Product liability lawsuits have helped make the American marketplace safer – to avoid such lawsuits, manufacturers put their products through rigorous testing to ensure their safety. Still, wrongful deaths due to product liability still happen.  The most common examples include dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals, tainted food items, and defective automobiles and auto parts.

Commercial Trucking Accidents

While technically, these are automobile accidents, collisions involving semis have a few key differences that warrant placing them in their own category.  The sheer size and weight of a semi-truck mean that any collision involving one is more likely to lead to a fatality.  The common causes of commercial trucking accidents are also unique, often involving oversized loads, driver fatigue and error, loss of vehicle control, and mechanical issues.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

Driver negligence is the most common cause of pedestrian and bicyclist accidents.  Because they have no protection, pedestrians and bicyclists are more likely to be killed in a collision with a vehicle.  Alarmingly, statistics for pedestrian accidents and fatalities across the country have been on the rise in recent years.  

Redding Wrongful Death Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading.  I’m Ed Smith, a wrongful death attorney in Redding, California.  The death of a loved one, especially if it was caused by negligence or recklessness, is a devastating event.  For nearly 40 years, I have tirelessly advocated for injured Redding residents and family members who have lost loved ones due to circumstances of wrongful death.  For compassionate, free, and friendly advice, please call my law firm at (530) 392-9400.  If you will be calling from outside the area, dial (800) 404-5400.

Image by Richard Mcall from Pixabay

mm [cs 695] cha

Contact Information