Wrongful death can occur as a result of negligence or intentional action that was the legal fault of another person. Individuals involved with a wrongful death lawsuit typically have questions about the process and what to expect as their case goes through the legal system. Although each state has its laws and statutes regarding wrongful death claims, all have provisions for the sudden and unexpected death of a person caused by someone else. So, what are the consequences of a fatal accident? And, how do wrongful deaths occur?
Types of Fatal Accidents
Accidents resulting in death can occur in many ways, and laws concerning wrongful death consider these factors. The burden of proof for a negligent death varies by state, with some areas requiring clear and convincing evidence and others requiring verification beyond a reasonable doubt. The quality of evidence is the most significant factor for jury conviction.
The most common type of fatal accident involves cars, trucks, or other vehicles. In most of these claims, negligence by at least one driver plays a factor in causing the accident, but this is not always the case. Road conditions or other issues may also play a role in these cases, potentially making the city or other municipality liable for damages.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is negligence that may lead to wrongful death. Surviving family members can bring a lawsuit against the at-fault individual or institution for associated damages in connection with the family member’s death. Although most health care providers perform their jobs exceedingly well under less-than-ideal circumstances, their actions can occasionally deviate from an accepted professional standard of care.
While workplace accidents occur every day, incidents involving employee death are considerably rarer. As some jobs are more dangerous, people working in mining, construction, and other higher-risk occupations have a greater chance of being involved in a workplace accident that causes death. Employers in these fields are responsible for providing a safe workplace that’s free of serious hazards.
Fatal Accidents Caused by Defective Products
Unsafe or defective products place the victim and the public at risk of death or injury, and unfortunately, each day on the market increases exposure to these faulty products. Defective products can result from an unsound design, problems with manufacturing, or a lack of proper instructions or warning for the consumer. The liability for deaths and accidents depends on the type of hindrance that prevented the item from being used safely.
Fatal Accidents involving Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Pedestrians and bicyclists face an increased vulnerability on the road due to weight and power differences with motorized vehicles. As a result, drivers may be considered negligent for not exercising a reasonable duty of care in fatal accidents with pedestrians or cyclists. This negligence is often the result of distracted driving, not using turn signals, or speeding.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
A legal professional can provide reasonable expectations for your claim. A good lawyer also has the resources and experience to develop a solid case to support the claim. If you believe a loved one has been the victim of wrongful death, the jurisdiction’s laws may limit the time frame for filing a claim, making it vital to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.