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11 Common Causes Of Wrongful Death With Examples

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Wrongful Death Cases Are Caused By Many Types Of Accidents

Most wrongful death lawsuits happen when someone does something wrong(typically acting negligently) that causes the death of another person. There are many different situations that can turn into wrongful death claims, such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, boating accidents, aviation accidents, drowning, product liability, premises liability, assault & battery, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, accidental poisoning and more. These cases are usually brought up in court if there was some kind of negligence by the party that had a duty of care that was breached.
motor vehicle accident turns fatal and becomes wrongful death lawsuit
This means the person or company has a duty to follow safety guidelines or laws to keep others safe and they disregarded those guidelines which resulted in the death of another person. If you are unfortunately in this situation, get in touch with our wrongful death attorneys right away.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits.

The Most Common Types Of Wrongful Death Cases With Examples

1. Car & Auto Accidents

Every day, millions of Americans get in their car to go to work, pick up groceries, run errands or embark on road trips. With all of these people on the roads at the same time, there are bound to be plenty of drivers that aren’t paying attention or driving recklessly which more often than not turns into an accident. When the driver didn’t obey the laws they are required to respect and end up causing an accident, the negligent driver is responsible to pay for the economic and noneconomic damages of the injured party. This could be something like pulling out in front of someone when you don’t have the right of way, not looking before changing lanes or running a red light. If that person’s injuries end up turning out to cause their death, this becomes a wrongful death case that will likely be taken to court to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions and compensate the deceased party’s family.

2. Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles are very common on roadways, but not as common as cars and trucks, so people don’t look out for them very often. The fact that they are much smaller than other vehicles can also make them difficult to spot on the roads as well. This is why you should always look twice for motorcycles, because if you don’t obey the laws and end up pulling out in front of a motorcycle rider, you could likely end up causing them to crash. Motorcycles don’t have safety features to the standards of cars, so many times motorcycle accidents end up being fatal, which is how motorcycle accident wrongful death cases come to light. Running into a motorcycle rider, pulling out in front of them or turning left in front of motorcycles are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and many of them lead to fatalities. For there to be a valid wrongful death case though, the party that caused the accident must have acted negligently and this has to be able to be proven in court.

3. Commercial Trucking Accidents

Semi-Trucks are all over the roads these days as they are the primary transportation method for goods to get to our favorite stores and businesses. These commercial trucks are large, heavy, don’t handle like a car and can’t stop very fast. Not to mention their tall height can create dangerous situations in high wind areas as well. When a commercial trucking company doesn’t inspect their trucks regularly according to the laws, they could be found responsible for accidents that occur due to mechanical defects that could have been spotted and fixed during routine inspections. If the brakes fail on a semi-truck and they end up crushing the driver and passengers of the car in front of them, leading to their death, this could turn into a wrongful death lawsuit if the company had missed their most recent brake inspection. Knowingly not performing required safety measures is a very common example of negligence. Another common occurrence is truckers driving too fast and getting into accidents or driving in unsafe conditions and causing wrecks that injure others.

4. Aviation Accidents

Aviation accidents, though not as common as auto accidents, still happen. There are thousands of planes in the air at almost all times which provides a lot of opportunity for accidents to happen. Many times commercial flights are late to their next stop so they might decide to skip certain inspections of the aircraft or even push the engines too hard trying to make up time while in the air. All aviation companies have strict rules they must abide by from landing to take off as well as in air travel. When a pilot or aviation company decides to skip inspections, push the plane speeds above safe levels or not follow air traffic controls guidelines, they are acting negligently and if the plane were to crash and kill passengers, that pilot or aviation company would be liable for the damages caused to the deceased parties and their families. Other common aviation accidents occur from mechanical failures, which can be the liability of the product manufacturer.

5. Boating & Drowning Accidents

Boating is a fun activity as are waterparks, but they both come with some inherent risks that most people don’t think about when participating in these activities. Many boaters or the captain of the ship don’t thoroughly inspect their vessels before setting sail which can turn into a sinking ship very quickly. Boating accidents are also very common when rookie boaters take to the waters without fully understanding the rules of the water, such as which side to pass other boats on, how to navigate waves correctly or possibly drinking while operating the boat. Drinking and driving a boat is one of the most common acts of negligence and is taken very seriously in court when it causes injuries or death. Waterparks can have malfunctions as well such as in wave pools that can cause accidental drownings, so proper maintenance of their facilities is expected to avoid bad things from happening. All of these things can lead to injured passengers, unsafe conditions and possible drownings which would be the fault of the captain or the owner of the waterpark if they acted negligently.

6. Workplace Accidents

Most of us have worked in unsafe work environments before, as many low income businesses struggling to get by don’t provide proper safety equipment for their workers or expect them to perform activities that aren’t safe at all. As workers trying to keep our jobs, you just do the activities because you have bills to pay and can’t get fired. This leads to workplace accidents all the time and ends up becoming the end of the business owners run of success when their workers get injured and those injuries run fatal. One of the most common workplace accidents that lead to death take place in the construction industry with workers falling off of buildings, houses and structural framing while trying to perform risky jobs. If the company doing the work doesn’t provide proper safety gear for their teams and a worker falls to their death, the company will be held liable.

7. Medical Malpractice

Medical procedures have extremely strict guidelines on how each surgery or medical care activity is to be performed. Sometimes doctors get in a hurry and end up skipping safety procedures or forget to do something during the process and end up killing the patient in the process. This is a common cause of wrongful death lawsuits as doctors are expected to perform their jobs at the highest level of caution because they have someone’s life in their hands. Many times, doctors have left surgery tools inside of patients or didn’t tell the patient of the risks of side effects or didn’t accurately check medical records before performing operations which can lead to death in many cases. This can sometimes be construed as negligence and become a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor or hospital that employs them.

8. Product Liability

Defective products are everywhere these days unfortunately. They could be defective from improper manufacturing, poor design, defects from transportation or malfunctioning safety features. When these products are defective and end up injuring or causing fatal injuries to a person, this can turn into a wrongful death lawsuit because the manufacturer has a duty to keep their users safe from product malfunctions. These could be things such as safety shut offs that don’t work properly, unsafe designs that can cause a child to choke or sharp edges that injure the user. Another common malfunction is improper stress testing which leads the product to fail under normal working conditions and causes accidents to happen such as tires, brake parts, etc. There are so many different possible cases for product liability that we can’t cover them all, but those are some common cases that come up often.

9. Premises Liability

As a property owner, you have a duty to make sure your property is maintained so that there are no risks of someone hurting themselves when walking through the property. If you decide not to do these things and a person gets injured on your property, you could be held liable. A lot of business owners let things such as ice on the steps, building structural issues, old and fragile guardrails, wet floors and many other things go without thinking about them. But the property owner has a duty to keep these things in a safe condition for customers. When the owner doesn’t fix these things or properly mark unsafe areas to prevent injuries, they will likely be held liable for injuries and if those injuries turn fatal, it could turn into a wrongful death lawsuit against them.

10. Assault & Battery

Anger can get the best of everyone at times, but when it goes too far and becomes a fight, there is a huge risk of injury and possible death. When your actions against the other person result in them being injured, they will usually bring on a personal injury lawsuit, but if those injuries become worse and the person dies from the injuries you caused to them, it may become a wrongful death lawsuit. This can be from things such as pushing someone down and they hit their head on a rock, tackling someone and then breaking their neck, punching them and causing brain damage that leads to death or anything of the like. Never let your anger get the best of you and never let it turn into a fight, because there are so many ways that even a simple fist fight can turn into a major lawsuit against you which can lead to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of damages you will be liable for.

11. Accidental Poisoning

Ever gotten food poisoning from undercooked food or the food wasn’t stored correctly leading to you getting an illness? These accidents are very common and can sometimes cause illnesses that people don’t recover from, especially if the person already has a compromised immune system or pre-existing conditions. Restaurant workers can easily forget to put food back in the fridge after getting ingredients out which can cause the food to develop harmful bacteria that will make you sick. Most of the time it is an accident and not intentional, but this is why proper safety procedures and workplace sanitation is so important. If food was left out for an extended period of time to the point it develops harmful bacteria and is then served to customers and causes them to get sick, this is a liability. When that sickness turns to death the restaurant owner will be responsible. Another common occurrence of this is the wrong ingredients being used or being put into the wrong packages. It could also be putting peanut based products into a package that doesn’t show that it has peanuts based products and a person with a peanut allergy consuming them unknowingly, leading to their death.

If you still have questions about wrongful death, make sure to check out our other articles where we cover topics such as What is a wrongful death lawsuit, How to know if you have a valid wrongful death case and Who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit

Why You Need An Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you are the victim or the liable party in a wrongful death lawsuit, you need an experienced attorney fighting for you. There are so many different things that need to be addressed properly in these cases that trying to fight these cases without expert representation will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we have dealt with countless wrongful death lawsuits and successfully litigated for our clients. With case settlements in the millions of dollars, you can be sure that our team will get you every last dollar that your case is worth and a supportive legal team that is there for you every step of the way. Don’t settle for less, insist on hiring the best. Call us for a free consultation on your case, we are here to help!

Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.