Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney

An Overview of Wrongful Death, How They Occur, Statistics &Types of Wrongful Death Accidents

Wrongful Death Overview
When an accidental death is caused by another individual’s gross negligence, wrongful actions or inaction it is called a wrongful death. Fatal accidents which occur under these circumstances are the most tragic and cause extreme grief, suffering and even economic damage to the family and friends left behind. The surviving dependents and heirs of the deceased must suffer the loss of the loving relationship with the deceased, loss of a stable family unit including parental care and guidance, loss of household services as well as the loss of future financial support and inheritance.

Whether the deceased is or is not considered to be comparatively at fault in their wrongful demise, their close relatives, estate or next of kin may file a civil action for the recovery of economic and non-economic damages and act as the plaintiffs in that action.

How Wrongful Death Accidents Occur
There are a number of different circumstances which can result in a wrongful death. The leading causes of a wrongful death in the United States are motor vehicle accidents involving cars, buses, trucks and especially motorcycles, medical malpractice and prescription drug reactions, unsafe premises accidents, construction accidents and other work place accidents and traumatic brain injuries. Wrongful death fatalities may also result from amusement park accidents, swimming or boating accidents, faulty vehicular safety equipment, public transportation accidents, illness and injury from hazardous material exposure and faulty medical equipment or devices.

Wrongful Death Statistics

  • Annually, medical malpractice is responsible for more than 90,000 fatalities in United States. 7,000 of those fatalities are result of medication errors.
  • Approximately 20,000 accidental slip-and-fall fatalities occur each year in the United States.
  • Workplace injuries account for nearly 6,000 fatalities each year.
  • According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, accidents involving amusement park rides result in approximately 2,500 wrongful fatalities.
  • Car accidents are the leading cause of wrongful death for people under 34. 40% of these fatalities are caused by alcohol abuse and 30% are caused by speeding.
  • Boating accidents account for more than 700 fatalities each year.
  • 1 out of every 10 construction workers will be injured each year; most fatalities from construction injuries occur from falls.
  • Slip-and-fall accidents are responsible for 15% of all accidental fatalities.
  • Over 1,000 children die each year as a result of swimming pool accidents.
  • SUV rollovers are responsible for approximately 10,000 fatalities annually.
  • Train accidents are responsible for approximately 1,000 fatalities each year.
  • Mesothelioma, a rare cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos, causes 4,000 fatalities each year.
  • 200,000 individuals die annually as a result of adverse prescription drug reactions.

Types of Wrongful Death Accidents
Wrongful death accidents generally fall under the categories of medical mistakes and failure to diagnose, work-related accidents and injuries, vehicular accidents including motor vehicles, bicycles and planes, unsafe premises accidents, water-related accidents from swimming, boating or scuba-diving, sports related accidents and criminal violence or personal assault.

Medical mistakes, incorrect of prescription drug dosages or fatal prescription drug reactions, and the failure to diagnose fatal conditions contribute to or cause thousands of unnecessary fatalities each year. Although many medically-related deaths are unavoidable, when a doctor or health care provider has been grossly negligent, uninformed, or has failed to exercise due diligence in diagnosis and treatment it may be considered a wrongful death.

29wrongfuldeathIn many states motor vehicle accidents resulting in a fatality caused by driver negligence can be considered for wrongful death civil actions. Additionally, the failure of those responsible to properly test, inspect and repair plane, truck, bus and automobiles can be considered gross negligence resulting in wrongful death. Motor vehicle and plane accidents and fatalities resulting from faulty safety or other mechanical features including poorly designed or assembled parts may be considered under product liability laws in a wrongful death civil action.

Wrongful death premises accidents occur when an individual is fatally injured due to unsafe conditions on private property, public walkways and roadways or businesses such as department stores. Improper lighting, wet or slippery floors, unsafe stairs, elevators or escalators, windows without screens and ice or snow conditions may all be considered the property owner’s or government’s responsibility when a fatal injury ensues as a result.

Water-related activities and sports are all considered to be inherently risky and any individual engaging in them must exercise a reasonable amount of care for his or her safety. However, if the water-related accident occurred on a rental boat, at a diving center or public pool or at any other sport center or resort, the owner of the organization may be considered responsible or partially responsible.

Wrongful Death Accident Articles