The Most Common Type Of Wrongful Death Involves Traffic Accidents

When a person loses their life through the actions of another, this is often a breach of law. However, while someone deliberately ending someone’s life is considered a criminal act, the loss of life through negligence or inaction, while illegal, is not regarded as criminal. This means that unlike criminal charges for which consequences are incarceration, accidental deaths of negligence result in lawsuits and financial compensation.

In civil law, this is known as wrongful death and indicates that a person or entity—such as a business—was not acting in a responsible manner that would have otherwise avoided a fatal incident. Traffic accidents are one of the most common types of wrongful death, and here is how it happens on the road.

Automobile Accidents

far the most common type of traffic accident due to the number of vehicles on the road, cars are often involved in many wrongful death incidents. One of the most common causes of such wrongful death is drunk driving. Interestingly, even when though the loss of life from drunk driving may be an accident, the act of drunk driving itself is considered a criminal offense.

Other types of wrongful death involving automobiles include distracted driving, where a driver may be ignoring the road in favor of some other object of focus, such as texting on the phone and failing to respond to a situation on the street in time. In these cases, the driver had a legal obligation to be more attentive and maintain situational awareness of the road. Failing to do so was a basic legal lapse that resulted in someone’s death.

Trucking Accidents

While cars are the most likely to get into an accident due to their commonness on the road, trucks are the most likely to have serious injuries or even death due to their size. The tonnage of a truck means that it is slow to respond quickly to situations that require agility on the road. That same mass guarantees that in motion, a truck is the largest, most dense vehicle on the road, and anything that makes contact with it will give way to the truck, not the other way around.

An additional concern with wrongful death and trucking incidents is responsibility. Unlike a car, with a driver who is usually the owner of the vehicle, a truck driver may only sometimes be the responsible party. For example, suppose wrongful death occurs because the cargo was improperly secured. In that case, that may be the responsibility of the logistics staff at a warehouse since the trucker driver did not actually load or secure the cargo.

Bicycle Accidents

On the other end of the wrongful death traffic spectrum is perhaps the most tragic of wrongful death incidents involving bicycles. Bicycles are at the other extreme of trucks, being small, delicate, slow, light, and affording no protection whatsoever to the rider. In any collision between a bicycle and a larger vehicle like a car or truck, the bicycle rider will invariably suffer more serious injuries and a higher likelihood of death.

Tragically, wrongful bicycle deaths also tend to be higher among a certain age group, and that is children. Over 70% of children between the age of 5-14 use bicycles as their primary means of transportation, making the risk of a bicycle accident involving a child much higher, especially in residential areas.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a death due to negligence in a traffic accident, talk to a wrongful death lawyer about your situation. You can get the guidance you need to find out how to make those responsible be held accountable for a tragic and unnecessary loss of life.