As personal injury attorneys with decades of combined experience, we have seen multiple types of cases that merit filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In cases where the negligent or reckless behavior of another person takes away the life of a loved one, you may have a legal right to pursue compensation against the responsible party. Compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help you pay for expenses associated with your loss, such as funeral expenses or lost income. In addition, you could recover compensation for pain and suffering.
There are various types of situations where it is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Read below to learn more about which situations may qualify.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
A semi-famous 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that medical errors may be responsible for 251,000 patient deaths in the U.S. each year. This would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in the country.
There are many ways medical errors cause deaths, but misdiagnosis is by far the most common fatal medical mistake. With a misdiagnosis or “diagnostic error”, an illness is mistaken for another one, or an illness may go unnoticed until it is no longer treatable.
Medication mistakes and surgical errors are also responsible for patient deaths. Depending on what occurred, the family members of deceased patients may be able to seek compensation against the doctor or medical facility.
Car Accident Lawsuits
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 32,000 U.S. drivers die in car accidents each year. In some cases, negligent or reckless driving is the culprit. Drunk driving is major cause of fatal car accidents, and so is distracted driving. Speeding, unsafe lane changes, running stop signs and driving under the influence of illicit or prescription drugs can also cause fatal accidents.
Depending on the cause of a car accident, surviving family members may have the option to file a wrongful death claim. You may be able to file a claim against the driver or business who employs the driver. Multiple parties may be liable for damages.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
Commercial trucks, or 18-wheelers, are by far the largest and heaviest vehicles on U.S. roads. In fact, a commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when it is fully loaded. When these vehicles travel at even low speeds, collisions cause immense damage to other objects and vehicles. Higher speeds increase the risk of passenger fatalities in other vehicles.
Truck accidents are a common reason why grieving families file wrongful death lawsuits. In a wrongful death lawsuit involving a truck accident, there may be multiple parties who are liable. The trucking company, driver or cargo-loading company may be liable for damages in a truck accident case. Wrongful death lawsuits involving truck accidents may lead to larger verdicts and settlements because there may be multiple fatalities.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Defective consumer products and automobiles kill people in the U.S. each year. The General Motors’ ignition switch scandal is a great example of how a defective automobile can cause numerous deaths. Takata’s defective airbag inflators are a more recent example.
Certain consumer products, such as over-the-counter medications or supplements, can also cause deaths. Hyland’s teething tablets, which contained variable levels of a fatal toxin, is a relevant example of a product liability lawsuit involving deaths.
Fatal Workplace Accident Lawsuits
Workplace conditions, improper training, defective equipment and other factors may be a reason to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Third parties in the workplace, such as a contracting company, may be liable for damages created by the fatal accident.
Although third-party lawsuits are the most common reason why family members file wrongful death claims, there are also cases where it is possible to seek compensation from the employer. It would depend on the circumstances of the accident and the employer’s conduct.
Premises Liability Lawsuits
Dangerous conditions present in a home or business can be a reason to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Certain types of hazards, such as those that can lead to a slip and fall accident, could lead to fatalities. Dog attacks are sometimes fatal, meaning the owner could be responsible for the pet’s actions.
Amusement park accidents are a good example of when a business may be liable for deaths. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to hold the business and additional parties liable for your damages.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
Bicyclists and pedestrians have no protection from collisions with vehicles. For this reason, bicyclists and pedestrians are far more likely to die from a collision. While we have numerous bike lanes in San Diego, there are still plenty of opportunities for fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents to occur. This is especially true due to the city’s high rates of drunk and distracted driving.
About Our San Diego Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you lost a family member due to the causes listed above, the San Diego wrongful death lawyers at Nield Law Group, APC can help you determine if you have a case. We have extensive experience representing family members in personal injury cases. You can contact us for a free consultation by dialing (866)335-1860 or by using our online case review form.