Many people have the question: “what is wrongful death?” In general, any wrongful act by another person or corporation that caused someone’s death could potentially lead to a meritorious wrongful death claim.
Some Examples Of Wrongful Death Cases
- Airplane/aviation accidents
- Car accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus or train accidents
- Construction accidents
- Cruise ship, boating and Jetski accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability (where someone was killed on someone else’s property and the property owner has some blame, which can include less obvious problems like poor security or maintenance)
- Nursing home abuse or negligence
- Drunk driving
- Theme park accidents
- Defective drugs or pharmaceuticals, particularly those with known problems
- Gunshot wounds
- Unsafe or defective products
- Work injuries
- Medical negligence
Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The most common causes for wrongful death lawsuits are traffic accidents, medical malpractice, product defects, premises liability and work place accidents. But anytime someone died from other than natural causes, there is a possibility that someone else is legally to blame.
Some Specific Examples Of Less Obvious Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Sometimes another person or corporation might be liable for the death of another person even if it seems like the death was an unavoidable accident or tragedy so there is no one to blame.
For example, if someone died while playing on a Jetski (meaning they seemingly caused their own death), there is at least a possibility that the Jetski was poorly constructed, or did not have sufficient warnings, or the owner of the marina did not give sufficient instructions, or a whole host of other possibilities. So the general idea is that unless someone died of clearly natural causes, you really might want to speak with an Orlando fatal accident lawyer to determine if there might be a responsible person or corporation.
Alternatively, let’s say someone fell into a grain elevator while working and died as a result of their injuries. There might have been safety standards that required all sorts of protective measures be taken–and perhaps the owner of the grain elevator and/or employer did not take those protective measures. In that situation, the grain elevator owner and/or employer might be liable to the survivors in a wrongful death action.
To give another example, let’s say a contractor built a hotel with a deck that did not comply with the building code. And then let’s say a whole group of people were on the deck when it collapsed, killing one or many people. The contractor and potentially the hotel could be liable for causing those deaths.
In a car accident situation, the main issue is whether the other driver was at fault during the accident. This might also lead to claims against employers, if they owned but did not maintain the vehicles (e.g., the brakes were bad) or even vehicle manufacturers and sellers, if there was some sort of defect in the vehicle.
For yet another example, let’s say a young woman was murdered by an unknown criminal in her apartment. At first glance, it seems like no one is to blame, right? However, depending largely on the facts, her survivors might have a claim against her landlord or the building owner, particularly if she or others had previously complained about poor security, bad lighting in parking areas, and that sort of thing. Additionally, if the criminal can be identified and the crime can be proven, then survivors may bring a civil lawsuit against his or her estate. In those cases, the burden of proof in a civil case for wrongful death (money damages) is far lower than a criminal case prosecution for murder (which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt).
The Bottom Line: You Need A Wrongful Death Lawyer To Carefully Evaluate The Situation
If you are still wondering “what is wrongful death?,” then there is a simple question you can ask yourself. If your loved one died from anything other than natural causes, ask yourself: could any person or corporation done anything differently that might have changed the outcome? Trust me when I tell you that determining whether someone might be legally responsible is a complicated question, even for lawyers, so you really should call me if your loved one died from anything other than purely natural, non-drug induced causes.