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Last updated: 2/11/2013
Causes of wrongful death
There are a large variety of causes of wrongful death: motor vehicle accidents such as automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents and truck accidents, airplane accidents, train accidents, slip and fall, product liability, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, abuse and neglect, animal attacks, dangerous and defective drugs, toxic exposure and poisoning, as well as violence.
Severe injuries can lead to the death of a person either during, say, an accident or on the longer run as a result of toxic exposure. Some injuries that may lead to death are very severe burns, spinal cord injuries, brain damage and loss of organ function, e.g. a severely injured kidney shuts down. Exposure to poisonous substances or repeated violence may be contributing factors of wrongful death on a longer run.
Wrongful death statistics
Since wrongful deaths come from many different sources, the statistics varies based on the origin of the negligence or wrongful act. According to the US Department of Justice, about 90% of all malpractice lawsuits come from wrongful death or permanent disability. Motor vehicle crashes contribute about 40,000 wrongful deaths each year, according to the US Department of Transportation, and the Center for Disease Control reports that wrongful deaths due to defective prescription drugs have increased by about 60% in the past five years. The Department of Labor reports that the on-the-job wrongful deaths are in the range of about 6,000 annually. Other noteworthy statistics are automobile accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, hit and run, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall, and brain injury.
What shall I do?
A wrongful death case, or the injury that lead to it, must be properly documented. First and foremost, do seek medical attention, even if the injury appears to be mild. Second, you or your relatives should file a report with the police or the State Highway Patrol. Get the details of all witnesses and take photographs of the scene, the injury and all other relevant parties such as other vehicles. Third, keep a thorough diary on how your condition changed and write down all medical visits and procedures done (all receipts and other documents must be kept). Fourth, contact your insurance company and let them know all the facts (failing to be honest with the insurance company may invalidate your coverage). Finally, contact your personal injury lawyer as soon as you have a chance.
What mistakes shall I avoid?
Do not sign anything or make a statement without consulting with your attorney. Do not give medical authorization to the insurance company, and never sign any release waiver without consultation. Do not automatically accept the estimate or the appraisal of your losses, or any settlement offered by the insurance company without knowing how much your case is really worth. Do not ever throw away anything, e.g. receipts of defective products, that can be used as evidence. When in doubt, consult your injury lawyer.
How to prevent wrongful death?
To prevent medical errors, the best is to get involved with your treatment, know all your medications, inform your doctor about everything you take, and follow the instructions on how to deal with your treatment and how to take the medication. Always go to accredited hospitals and verify the license of the physician and check out the practice to see if there were any complaints. Drowning is preventable with extra care: do not leave your children in the pool unattended, enroll the kids in swimming lessons and never dive into shallow water. Tragic accidents can happen around the house so it is a good idea to check your wiring and make sure the electrical load is appropriate. Have gas appliances inspected yearly and keep flammable objects away from heat sources. Install fire extinguisher in all places where fire may break out and never leave any room without installing a perfectly functioning smoke detectors (many fires break out at night when you are asleep). See other preventative measures for auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, hit and run, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall, brain injury, burns and scars, catastrophic injury, child injury, nursing home abuse, and product liability.
Some legal advise
A wrongful death case is a complicated matter both in terms of causation as well as compensation. To establish the claim, one has to show that the death was caused by the conduct of the defendant who was negligent and is liable for the damages, there are surviving beneficiaries, and the monetary damages have resulted from the victims death. Compensation can be sought for expenses (medical and funeral), loss of anticipated earnings, loss of benefits (pensions, medical coverage, etc), loss of inheritance, pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages. Please contact our wrongful death lawyer for a free consultation.
A wrongful death lawyer seeks compensation for the relatives or heirs of a dead person who was the victim of wrongful acts or negligence. A wrongful death claim is a civil action in which damages are sought against a party for causing death. The claim can be brought when criminal action has failed or is not attempted. A death that is not due to natural causes is likely a wrongful death and it may be the result of willful or negligent act of another person.
Brain acceleration and deceleration