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Losing a loved one is always devastating. But when their death is sudden, unexpected, and the result of someone else’s actions, the grief is compounded by unimaginable pain. In such cases, the death may fall under the legal definition of “wrongful death.” There are common causes of wrongful death, however unfortunate that may be.

What is Wrongful Death?

In legal terms, a wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the intentional, reckless, or negligent actions of another individual, company, or entity. Here are the most common causes of wrongful death cases:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Collisions involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and even pedestrians make up the single largest category of wrongful death cases. Sadly, distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and general recklessness continue to cause an alarming number of fatal accidents each year.
  • Medical Malpractice: This complex area of law encompasses errors made by doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals leading to a patient’s death. Medical malpractice can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, improper medication prescriptions, and failures to adequately monitor a patient.
  • Defective Products: Dangerous or defective products are disturbingly common. Whether it’s poorly designed auto parts, malfunctioning power tools, or improperly labeled medications, a faulty product can tragically result in wrongful death. Companies creating and selling products can be held liable under product liability laws.
  • Workplace Accidents: Construction sites, factories, and other potentially hazardous job environments carry inherent risks. When employers fail to take necessary safety precautions or properly train employees, accidents can turn fatal. Families may have grounds for a wrongful death suit in such cases.
  • Intentional Acts: While less common than accidental deaths, murders, assaults, and other intentional harmful acts can result in criminal charges as well as civil wrongful death claims.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These incidents are not just about minor injuries; severe cases can be fatal, especially among the elderly or in hazardous conditions. Property owners and managers have a duty to maintain safe environments for visitors and employees. Failure to address potential dangers can lead to wrongful death claims.
  • Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable to wrongful death due to abuse or neglect in nursing homes or care facilities. This can include physical abuse, medical neglect, or failure to provide the basic necessities of life.
  • Birth Injuries: Complications during childbirth can lead to the tragic loss of a newborn or the mother. These cases may involve medical negligence during prenatal care, labor, or delivery, including failure to respond to distress signs or improper use of delivery tools.
  • Public Transportation Accidents: Incidents involving buses, trains, ferries, and airplanes can have catastrophic consequences. Operators and companies are responsible for maintaining the safety of their vehicles and adhering to strict regulations to prevent accidents.
  • Food Poisoning: Severe cases of foodborne illnesses can lead to wrongful death, especially in vulnerable populations. Restaurants, food manufacturers, and distributors can be held liable for failing to ensure the safety of their products.

How to Protect Yourself & Prevent the Risk of Wrongful Death

We can never be immune to unfortunate circumstances, but following these precautionary measures may increase your safety and the safety of loved ones:

  • Drive Defensively: Always obey traffic laws, avoid distractions such as texting, and never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ensure vehicles are regularly maintained to lessen the risk of mechanical failures causing accidents.
  • Practice Caution: In workplaces and around your home, follow established safety practices. Be aware of surroundings, and speak up if you notice unsafe conditions or dangerous shortcuts being taken.
  • Be a Savvy Consumer: Only purchase products that appear safe and properly labeled. Research products before use, report unsafe items to the appropriate agencies, and consult with a personal injury lawyer for advice.
  • Consult Medical Professionals Carefully: Choose skilled, well-reviewed healthcare providers. When facing medical decisions, ask plenty of questions and consider getting second opinions before undergoing major procedures or starting new medications.
  • Vet Nursing Homes and Care Facilities: If selecting a nursing home or care facility for a loved one, thoroughly research the facility’s history, staff qualifications, and safety records. Regularly visit and monitor the care provided to ensure it meets the necessary standards.
  • Educate Yourself on Birth Safety Practices: If expecting a child, educate yourself on the safest birth practices and choose a healthcare provider with an excellent track record. Discuss all potential risks and emergency procedures with your medical team well in advance of the delivery date.
  • Use Public Transportation Wisely: When using public transportation, stay alert to your surroundings and follow all safety instructions provided by operators. Avoid distractions that could make you unaware of emergencies.
  • Be Cautious With Food Preparation and Consumption: Practice safe food handling and storage at home to prevent foodborne illnesses. Be vigilant about food recalls and advisories, and choose restaurants and food products with good safety records.
  • Create a Safe Living Environment: Regularly inspect your home for potential hazards such as slippery floors, loose carpets, and unsafe staircases. Make necessary adjustments to reduce the risk of falls, especially if elderly individuals or children are present.
  • Consult a Wrongful Death Attorney: In the unfortunate event that you suspect a loved one’s death may have been caused by negligence or wrongdoing, it’s crucial to consult with a wrongful death lawyer. They can provide advice on your legal rights and options, helping to ensure that justice is served and potentially preventing similar incidents in the future.

Legal Recourse and Support

The pain of losing a loved one is immeasurable, and when the loss is due to another’s negligence, the need for justice becomes paramount. By understanding the common causes of wrongful death and taking steps to prevent them, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. However, when prevention is not enough, seeking a personal injury attorney becomes essential.

Morgan Law Group is dedicated to guiding families through these challenging times with professionalism and compassion. If you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death, reach out to us. Our team of wrongful death lawyers is ready to provide the support and representation you need to seek justice and compensation. Together, we can navigate the path toward healing and accountability.