Wrongful deaths—those that are caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party—are more common than a lot of people think. For instance, it’s estimated that medical malpractice alone may be responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths annually.
While some wrongful deaths occur instantaneously because of a fatal injury, other deaths can take a long time to happen—sometimes many months or even years—from serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding or spinal injuries.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice, such as serious surgical errors or medication errors. Other examples of medical malpractice can include misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis.
- Defective products, especially in cases in which medical products are involved.
- Dangerous drugs or drug interactions.
- Workplace injuries, especially at construction or manufacturing sites.
- Slip and fall premises liability injuries.
No matter what the cause or how long the wrongful death took to occur, surviving family members (such as a spouse or children – including adopted children) or, in some states, life partners or even distant family members, have the right to sue for wrongful death and recover compensation for damages they have suffered.
Wrongful death actions can be complex and difficult to file, so you are strongly encouraged to seek experienced counsel if you have questions about a loved one’s death or feel that you may have a potential claim.