Common Causes of Wrongful Death

October 29, 2020 Posted In Wrongful Death

If your loved one passed away under strange, suspicious, or unexpected circumstances in California, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim asserts that the fatal injury would not have happened were it not for the negligence or carelessness of another person. While many types of accidents can be deadly, several are the most common causes of action for wrongful death lawsuits in California.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian crashes take thousands of lives in California every year. Fatal collisions happen almost every day. In 2018 alone, 3,563 people lost their lives in car accidents in California. Almost every fatal car accident is preventable. Deadly collisions occur due to acts of negligence such as speeding, reckless driving, unsafe passing, drowsy driving and driving drunk. If you lost a loved one in a deadly car crash in Riverside, the at-fault driver may be liable for your family’s damages.

Falls and Other Premises Liability Accidents

Premises liability is a type of personal injury claim that deals with a negligent property owner and dangerous property. If a property owner cuts corners or tries to save money by failing to inspect a property and repair defects, that owner could be liable for a resultant accident, injury or death. Common property hazards that could be deadly are swimming pools, pets, unsafe structures, toxic substances, faulty staircases, and fire risks. Falls are especially common types of premises liability accidents. A bad fall could be deadly for a victim.

Criminal Intent

Not all fatalities are accidents. Rather than being negligent, the defendant in your wrongful death claim may be guilty of an intentional crime against your loved one. Violent crimes such as physical assaults, sexual assaults and assaults with deadly weapons cause numerous deaths in California each year. If a violent crime such as homicide or a crime of gross negligence, such as vehicular manslaughter, killed your loved one, the criminal may be financially liable for your damages.

Defective Products

Manufacturers have a duty to reasonably ensure the safety of their products for consumer use. The failure to do this could lead to defects in the design, production or distribution of the product. A major product defect or minor defect to a life-saving product could be fatal for an unsuspecting consumer. Common examples include medical devices, IVC filters, medications, products that contain asbestos, faulty electrical products, auto parts, construction equipment and exploding products. If a defective or dangerously designed product took your loved one’s life, the manufacturing company may bear fault through the rules of strict product liability.

Medical Malpractice

If you trusted the life of your loved ones in the hands of a surgeon or physician and the health care professional made an error that another reasonable and prudent doctor would not have in the same situation, you may have a medical malpractice claim for wrongful death. Medical malpractice is more common than most families realize. A doctor could have made a mistake while diagnosing, treating, communicating with or prescribing medications to your loved one. A severe medical mistake could be fatal for a patient.

Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

Many occupations in California come with hazards to the safety and health of workers. In 2018, 5,250 work-related fatalities occurred in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Deaths at work can occur due to slip and falls, machinery accidents, transportation accidents, struck-by objects, electrocutions, exposure to hazardous substances, untrained workers, unsafe premises, and violent people or animals. Defendants that may be liable for your loved one’s work-related death include the employer, a product manufacturer and a contractor.

Discuss your loved one’s recent death with a wrongful death attorney in Riverside for more information about your rights and options. One or more parties may owe your family financial compensation for contributing to a preventable fatal accident in California.

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