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7 Common Causes for Wrongful Death Claims

— June 12, 2024

It is important to be very careful while performing dangerous jobs or even being on the road because one mistake can cost a person’s life. 

Wrongful death claims are very scary to people. They hold the power of destroying a person’s life. Even if the person has done nothing wrong, it will still affect them. Usually, wrongful death claims are done by family members or relatives. If the wrongful death claim turns out to be true, then the family of the deceased person gets paid for their losses and all the harm that was done to them.

Now you may think that wrongful death claims don’t happen that often. But, they do. People who need to file a lawsuit for wrongful death can hire a Portland wrongful death attorney, who can help them with their court case.

But why do these claims happen in the first place? Here are some of the common causes of wrongful death claims.

1. Automobile Accidents

Drunk driving is a very common problem all around the world. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, aggressive drivers and pedestrian accidents are the top causes of death in America. 

If the driver doesn’t obey the laws they need to respect and ends up causing an accident and injuring someone, they will need to pay the injured person. But, if the person’s injuries end up being the cause of death, then this will become a wrongful death case that will likely be taken to court. The person who caused the accident will have to pay a sum of money to the family of the deceased.

2. Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a very serious cause of wrongful death claims. If a doctor fails to provide the needed care for a patient and that leads to the death of the patient, the family may seek a wrongful death lawsuit based on many factors.

These factors include misdiagnosis, prescription error, surgical error, delayed diagnosis, and sometimes even a medical equipment malfunction can be the cause of death.

3. Product Liability

Every designer, seller of a product, or distributor must minimize the harmful risks of their products to the public. If a person dies as a result of a faulty design, or failure to warn of possible injuries, then this will be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Things that can lead to the death of a person could be safety shut-offs that don’t work properly, unsafe designs that can cause a child to choke or a sharp edge that can injure the users. 

4. Criminal Acts

Adriana Kuch was a 14-year-old girl, who died in February 2023. It was reported that she had killed herself after she saw a video of her being bullied. The video was posted online, which raised a lot of questions. After her tragic death, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township.

There are many other cases like this one, maybe some even more tragic. But, overall this is the most common cause of a wrongful death claim.

5.  Work Related Accident

If a death occurs in the workplace as a result of the company’s negligence, then it will be the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit can be made if the person gets sick due to unsafe work environments, fires or even explosions. 

The most common workplace accidents that result in death take place in the construction industry. 

6.  Truck Accidents

Truck in oncoming traffic, shot through car windshield; image by Ralph Ravi Kayden, via
Truck in oncoming traffic, shot through car windshield; image by Ralph Ravi Kayden, via

Truck accidents are very common and easy to happen.  Trucks are usually very large and heavy, and they tend to do more damage than a regular car. This type of accident can happen very late at night when it’s too dark and difficult to see pedestrians.

A tragedy in San Francisco occurred when an elderly woman was killed by a commercial truck. The family recovered a good settlement from the driver’s insurance policy because he failed to stop at the pedestrian crosswalk.

7.  Bicycle Accidents

Believe it or not, bicycle accidents can result in death too. Just like truck accidents and car accidents, bicycle accidents can be dangerous. Although some cyclists can recover, some can also die. 

Brett McDaniel was a 13-year-old boy who was hit by an ambulance while he was riding his bike. Luckily, his family won the wrongful death verdict against Mercy Regional Emergency Medical Services. 

Final Thoughts

There are many common causes for wrongful death claims. While some are more common than others, they still exist. It is important to be very careful while performing dangerous jobs or even being on the road because one mistake can cost a person’s life. 

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