Types and Causes of Wrongful Death Cases

The causes for a case resulting in a death claim are potentially unlimited, but there are four major categories which have the highest probabilities.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

In 2014, 37,675 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. While there are no statistics available as to how many of these were due to the negligence of a third party, the likelihood of wrongful death is highest in this category given the sheer number of fatalities.

Common causes of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents that result in lawsuits include speeding, reckless driving, driving while under the influence, vehicle equipment malfunction and driver inexperience.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a physician does not provide medical care to an expected standard of competence or dispenses medical treatment that a competent doctor would not have given. This may also be applicable to health care providers, such as nurses.

Preventable medical errors take the lives of approximately 98,000 Americans per year. That equates to 285 deaths every day.

Medical malpractice runs the gauntlet from prescription mistakes to failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis to negligent maternity care, with an alarming number of causes in between.

Workplace Accidents

In 2014, a total of 4,821 people died as a result of accidents in the workplace.

The number one cause of these types of cases was motor vehicle accidents and represents approximately one-quarter of the workplace fatalities.

In 2014, 899 workers died while working in construction. There are four causes of death in construction known as the "Fatal Four." The 899 total construction deaths can be broken down by Falls (359), Electrocutions (74), Struck by object (73) and caught in/between (39). 

Other workplace accidents noted in the Department of Labor’s statistics were caused by: falling objects; homicides; railway incidents; aircraft incidents; struck by mobile equipment; fires and explosions.

Ninety percent of workplace fatalities occur in the private sector, primarily in the service providing and goods producing industries.

Product Liability

One out of every 125 men who dies over 50 years old is a victim of asbestos-caused diseases. It can take from 10 to 40 years for diseases caused by asbestos to develop.

Ten thousand deaths per year are attributable to asbestos, just under 3 per day.

Approximately 9,000 people die each year from food poisoning. Deliberate product tampering or unsafe manufacturing practices which cause accidental contamination may be at fault.

Product cases can also stem from pharmaceuticals, unsafe packaging, failure to place warnings regarding the product on packaging, mechanical failures, improper or unsafe building construction and unsafe vehicle design.

The above information is not meant to be comprehensive but, rather, a general overview of common causes of wrongful death. To receive specific legal advice pertinent to your circumstances, an experienced personal injury attorney should be consulted. Contact our experienced team of CT Personal Injury Attorneys today at 888-244-5480 for a free consultation.