A wrongful death case is a type of personal injury case. Only the big thing that makes a wrongful death case different from your typical personal injury case is that the injured party has passed away due to their injuries. This means it is up to one of their loved ones or estate to pursue a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf or rather a wrongful death lawsuit.
There are many types of wrongful death cases, as many as there are types of personal injury law. We’re going to be looking at most of them today. We’ll be starting by looking at accidents, especially auto accidents, which are fairly common. From there we’ll move into defective products Finally, we’ll briefly cast a wide net to look at some of the types of wrongful death cases that we’ve otherwise missed.
What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Death Accidents?
Accidents are all too common. Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, plane accidents, boat accidents, scooter accidents, pedestrian accidents, and train accidents, all of these can lead to wrongful death should the accident itself be found to be caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness.
Any time somebody gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they owe it to those around them to follow the rules regulating that vehicle and to pay attention to what is happening around them to minimize any potential harm. When an individual fails to live up to this expectation of them, they breach their duty of care. Any accident that arises is their fault by virtue of their failure.
Proving this linkage to the court can be moderately difficult, but by working with a wrongful death attorney on the matter ahead of time you can put together a strong case.
How Can Defective Products Lead to Wrongful Death?
A defective product is typically just a bummer. You spent a bit of money on something that you thought would be neat but it didn’t work out. But in some cases, a defective product can cause injuries and these can be severe enough to lead to death.
There are three ways in which a product could be said to be defective. It could be that the product is mislabeled. For example, a poisonous product may not have any warnings and so the owner didn’t feel they needed to hide it from their infant. The failure to warn led to the owner’s failure to hide the product from the child’s inquisitiveness and thereby a wrongful death occurred.
Another way a product can be defective is if there is a problem during the manufacturing of it. Say you were purchasing a railing for a staircase. It was supposed to be able to withstand up to 350lbs of pressure. But during the manufacturing of the railing, they ran out of materials and so they made the last few in the batch by doubling up the thickness of a weaker material. Should somebody be injured due to that railing break at under 350lbs then that would be a case of a defective product due to manufacturing.
The final way is through the design. There was a theme park that opened up and quickly noticed that people were coming out of their slide with cuts. It was only after it was built and opened to the public that they realized the design of the slide made it impossible not to get injured when going through. If a product is poorly designed and released to the public, and that product causes a wrongful death, then there is absolutely grounds to make sure that those responsible pay for what they’ve done.
What Other Types of Wrongful Death Cases Are There?
Medical malpractice can easily lead to wrongful death. Any time you trust your health in the hands of a medical professional, you are risking malpractice. 90% of the time, people are fine. But that 10% of the time that malpractice occurs can lead to serious, life-long medical issues or death.
Workplace injuries tend to be quite severe or fatal, simply because if a workplace is prone to injury then chances are it’s going to be serious injuries. Construction sites especially can be deadly. There are any number of ways that an individual can be injured at their workplace but when that injury results in death it is only right that the workplace pay should it be their fault.
Dog bites can lead to death. The physical injuries themselves very well can but the infections that come from dog bites can be particularly rough. Dogs are only allowed to bite people in very specific situations, otherwise the consequences are the responsibility of their owners. Should an unlawful dog bite lead to death then you could file a wrongful death case against the dog’s owner.
Premises liability cases, like slip and fall accidents, are another type of wrongful death case. These are predicated on the fact that the accident occurred on another’s property and it was a failure to warn about hazards or upkeep the property that caused the accident.
Is an Attorney Necessary for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
You don’t technically need to hire an attorney to file a wrongful death lawsuit. But you absolutely should be working with one if you want the best possible chance at winning the case. You are going to be going into a courtroom to argue that another person is responsible for the death of your loved one. That’s an emotional experience you’re having but consider the opposition.
They don’t want to admit to being responsible for a death, both because that is heavy to weigh on a person’s shoulders and because it means they’re going to owe a lot of money. So they’re going to fight with everything they’ve got and hire an attorney of their own.
The best way to win a case is to hire an attorney, work with them from the beginning to build a solid case, and stay on the same footing as each other, then trust in them once you hit the courtroom. You still might not win but your chances are much, much greater than if you represented yourself throughout the wrongful death lawsuit.