Wrongful death can occur from a wide array of circumstances—whether an auto accident, medical malpractice or product liability, these all illustrate such causes. Claims are filed when a death occurs due to the negligence of a third party (this could be a person, company or manufacturer). A concrete definition from the Legal Dictionary shows that wrongful death is “the taking of the life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons.”
Either way, to say it is a difficult time for the loved ones involved is simply unsatisfactory; losing a family member is an indescribable tragedy, and should be treated delicately yet firmly in lieu of receiving due compensation for damages.
That said, we have compiled some facts and statistics about wrongful death that you may find helpful and educational. This is across the scope of wrongful death, which includes medical malpractice, alcohol-related fatalities in motor vehicle crashes and other insightful points to help you understand some of the legal processes behind it.
Wrongful Death Facts
1.) Wrongful death action can be filed and functions separately from criminal charges. According to the Legal Dictionary, “neither proceeding affects nor controls the other.” This is regardless of whether the incident was intentional or not.
2.) Wrongful death claims aren’t the same as negligence claims. Negligence claims are filed by the person injured and is able to account for the damages incurred due to the accident or incident.
3.) Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities account for 31% of overall 2013 fatalities (referenced from the NHTSA). While it has decreased in the last few years, we also now have to combat the gradual increase of distracted crashes that result in fatalities (due to cell phones and other electronic devices in the car).
4.) Up to 98,000 patients are killed each year due to medical errors and medical malpractice. Numbers show very few are actually penalized by medical boards—as state medical boards in 1999 only put forth less than 3,000 disciplinary actions toward physicians.
5.) 90% of all medical malpractice claims involved permanent injury and death. This is from 75 of the nation’s largest counties.
Keep in mind wrongful death accounts for many circumstances that were not previously listed. Some others to be aware of are:
Slip and fall accidents
Work-related accidents or diseases
Nursing home negligence
If you are a family member suffering due to the unanticipated death of a loved one, we here at Lowman Law Firm are here to help. Contact one of our qualifiedwrongful death attorneys who can give you a free consultation and advise you on what actions you can take against the opposing party. While nothing will bring back that loved one, you can take steps to receive due compensation for the family and the other direct relatives involved.