Wrongful death is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences a family can go through. A lawsuit is often the only way for family members to obtain closure and peace after the devastating loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. At Estey & Bomberger, LLP, we’ve helped dozens of families throughout California seek compensation from the individuals and establishments responsible for the death of a loved one. Here are the most common types of wrongful death cases we’ve encountered in our years of legal representation.
#1. Motor Vehicle Accidents
In 2015, 35,092 people died and 2,443,000 people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. In 2014, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for people at age 11 and every age from 16 to 24. Human error causes the majority of catastrophic vehicle collisions. In 2015, alcohol-impaired driving caused 9,306 fatal car accidents – taking the lives of 10,265 people. Other common causes of car crashes include driver distraction, inattention, failure to obey road rules, failure to maintain a vehicle, and recklessness.
#2. Defective Products
Wrongful death claims may also center on the negligence of a product manufacturer or distributor. For example, many car accidents are the result of a negligent manufacturer that produced defective or dangerous vehicle parts. Part malfunction such as brake failure can easily cause a fatal crash. Other defective products that may lead to consumer death include medical devices, pharmaceuticals, toxic foods, dangerous children’s toys and products, and defective vehicles.
#3. Premises Liability Claims
Wrongful death is too often the tragic result of a property owner’s negligence. The law holds property owners to strict standards, mandating that they must provide a reasonably safe premises for visitors at all times. Property owners must repair known hazards, search for unknown hazards, and warn visitors of hazards not yet fixed. These are the standards of care for invitees, or people the property owner invites to a property, such as customers to a store or friends and family members at a residential property.
If a visitor is a licensee, or someone on a property with the owner’s permission but for his or her own purposes (i.e. a salesperson), the property owner owes the same standards of care with the exception of searching for unknown hazards. Wrongful death claims often center on the laws of premises liability. This may be the case after deadly slip and fall accidents, dog bite accidents, elevator/escalator accidents, swimming pool accidents, and a number of other premises-related accidents.
#4. Workplace Accidents
Fatal accidents in the workplace may result from an employer’s failure to properly train employees, maintain a safe work environment, or provide proper safety equipment. Accidents that might stem from employer negligence include:
- Falls from ladders and scaffolding
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Work vehicle accidents
- Exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma
- Construction site accidents
- Electrocutions Burn injuries
Do not leave these devastating cases purely to California workers’ compensation. If a loved one died while performing work-related tasks, seek the help of an attorney to investigate the cause of the incident and give your case the attention it deserves.
#5. Medical Malpractice
Although not every unexpected death in a hospital is grounds for a wrongful death claim, any incidents related to medical malpractice are. For example, if a healthcare practitioner failed to diagnose, gave a misdiagnosis, or made a medical error, these are all examples of malpractice that could lead to patient death. Other examples include surgical errors, anesthesia mistakes, birth injury, improper treatment, and defective medical devices.
Estey & Bomberger, LLP handles many types of wrongful death claims. So, if you have reason to believe someone else’s negligence caused the death of your loved one, speak to an attorney about filing a wrongful death claim. The Riverside personal injury attorney team at Estey & Bomberger can help you get compensation for pain and suffering. Contact them in Riverside today! 951-543-9020