11 Leading Causes of Wrongful Death Claims

Published on: 11/02/23 — In 

Wrongful death lawsuit claims are filed in situations where someone dies as a result of someone else's negligence or wrongful actions. These types of accident claims are aimed at seeking financial compensation for the emotional and economic losses experienced by the surviving family members.

The main causes of wrongful death claims include motor vehicle accidents, medical error or surgical error, medical malpractice leading to a birth injury defective products, slip and fall accidents, and workplace accidents.

Contact Ktenas Injury Attorneys at 312-300-2515 to schedule a consultation for free with an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney.

Understanding Your Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death claims are based on the legal principle that holds responsible those who caused the death of another due to negligence and provides financial compensation to the surviving family members.

If you have recently lost a loved one in an accident or due to medical malpractice, it is important to understand your rights and the types of claims you may be eligible for. Wrongful death claims legal action can be made by the surviving family members and personal representatives for damages such as loss of income, funeral costs and expenses, medical bills, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

Chris Ktenas, Chicago wrongful death attorney

In certain cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to deter the responsible party from further negligence.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice happens when healthcare providers don't meet accepted standards of care, leading to patient injury or death. Medical malpractice includes misdiagnosis, negligence, lack of informed consent, improper training, prescription errors, and surgical or procedural errors.

If someone dies due to medical negligence, the deceased person's family may be able to file a wrongful death compensation claim. It's important to know that if you have a medical malpractice case, they are complex and require an experienced wrongful death attorney's help for legal advice.

Auto Accidents

Automobile accidents cause many wrongful death claims in the US. Thousands of Americans die each year from preventable crashes. These crashes involve factors like negligence, aggressive driving, bad weather, poor roads, and drunk driving.

Unfortunately, these claims are common and have devastating effects on families. When someone dies in an auto accident, their survivors can under the wrongful death statute file a claim for compensation from the negligent parties. This compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, and other related losses.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents cause many wrongful death claims. Trucks are bigger and heavier than regular cars, so crashes can be severe. Trucks drive fast and have blind spots, leading to many accidents caused by negligence. If someone dies in a truck accident, their family can file a wrongful death claim against the commercial truck driver. 

Bicycle-Pedestrian Accidents

Bicycle-pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents cause many wrongful death claims in the United States. These accidents often involve motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians sharing the same road or sidewalk.

a bicyclist laying on the ground after a car hit them

As bicycle use increases, the number of collisions also increases. To prevent fatal injuries and collisions, everyone must remain aware of their surroundings and be cautious when sharing the same space.

If someone dies in a bicycle-pedestrian accident, their family may be able to file a wrongful death claim with a wrongful death attorney.

Products Liability

Product liability is a legal concept that holds manufacturers, sellers, and distributors have a duty of care and are accountable for injuries caused by defective products. It is a significant factor in wrongful death claims in the United States.

Product liability claims can be based on various theories, such as negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and misrepresentation. When a product causes someone's death, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible manufacturer, seller, or distributor.

Assault and Battery

Assault and battery are common causes of wrongful death claims in the US. These acts can be fatal and involve extreme violence, resulting in serious injuries or death.

Assault and battery are intentional torts, meaning the person must have intended to cause physical harm for liability in wrongful death cases. A wrongful death lawyer can determine liability in assault and battery cases. 

Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries cause wrongful death claims. Employers must provide a safe working environment. This includes training and safety equipment. Hazardous conditions should be avoided and safety protocols followed. Common workplace accidents are construction site accidents and faulty equipment.

When someone dies from a workplace injury, their family can file a wrongful death claim. A personal injury attorney can help with the process.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability claims can be a potential cause of wrongful death in certain situations. This type of claim is usually filed when someone dies as a result of property damage caused by another party or entity.

Typically under premises liability, the property damage must have been directly caused by property owner negligence for it to qualify as a wrongful death claim. For instance, if a construction company constructs a building without adequate safety measures and someone dies due to a structural collapse, their surviving family members may have the option to file a wrongful death claim against the construction company.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes care for elderly and disabled people long-term. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are major causes of wrongful death claims in the US. Negligence can involve a lack of medical attention failure to monitor health or administering the wrong medication, as well as physical and emotional abuse by staff or residents.

an empty nursing home room after its occupant has passed away

If negligence leads to a resident's death, the responsible party may be liable for wrongful death damages. Families can consult a wrongful death lawyer to understand their legal options and seek compensation.

Aviation Accidents

Aviation accidents cause many wrongful death claims due to their devastating consequences and high fatality rates. These accidents happen when a plane crashes or has an incident resulting in serious injury or death to passengers.

Various factors can cause airplane accidents, including mechanical failure, pilot error, weather conditions, air traffic control issues, and human errors. If a loved one dies in an aviation accident, their surviving family members may have the option to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties. An experienced aviation attorney can help determine liability and seek compensation for the family members.

Drowning/Boat Accidents

Wrongful death claims often result from drowning and boat accidents. These tragedies occur due to either negligence or a lack of safety measures. Negligence in drowning-related claims can involve not providing life-saving equipment or inadequate supervision. Boat accidents usually happen due to defective equipment or the negligence of another boat operator.

The responsible party may be held liable for wrongful death damages and may face criminal and civil penalties. Families can seek legal assistance from a wrongful death lawyer to determine their rights and pursue compensation.

Speak With a Skilled Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

If someone's loved one has died because of someone else's negligence or misconduct, they may be able to file a wrongful death claim. These claims are complicated and require help from a skilled lawyer.

At Ktenas Injury Attorneys, we know how difficult these cases can be and we are dedicated to helping our clients find justice and compensation for their losses. Our team of experienced wrongful death lawyers is available to answer any questions you have. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.