While that can sometimes mean a person accused of wrongful death may also go to court for criminal charges, that is not always—or even often—the case. In most situations, wrongful death is considered accidental, not deliberate, but there are many ways in which wrongful death can occur. These are some of the leading causes.
This is the #1 cause of wrongful death in America, simply because road accidents can encompass many different types. The vehicular collision between two cars is the most common, because there are so many cars on the road. However, accidents between cars and trucks have also caused their fair share of wrongful deaths, as have collisions between cars and motorcycles. Sadly, collisions between cars and bicycles, or even cars and pedestrians—including children—all fall under wrongful death due to a road accident.
The exact causes vary widely as well. A drunk driver is an obvious case of someone not intending to cause a death but, through ignoring the law, not having the reflexes to avoid an accident or impact. On the other end of the spectrum, someone getting distracted at the wheel and turning around to quiet some loud, rambunctious dogs and hitting and killing a child during those few seconds is completely sober. However, there’s still a basic obligation to maintain awareness of the road that was ignored.
Another common cause of wrongful death takes place while people are at work. This is especially true in industrial settings where the environment, and even the tools being used can pose a severe safety risk if proper care is not observed.
Construction sites, for example, have many regulations, such as requiring hard hats and wearing safety goggles depending on what activities are taking place, but it’s still all too easy for a fall to occur if someone isn’t observing proper safety protocols, or for a careless moment using a powerful industrial tool to end up subjecting someone else to the power of that tool.
Employers have a legal obligation to maintain certain minimum safety standards, and employees have a duty to adhere to those standards both for themselves and fellow workers. Anyone that fails to comply to these standards and have that action result in someone else’s death is open to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Finally, when products don’t work the way they are supposed to, this can often lead to sudden, unexpected, often tragic and pointless loss of life. The Ford Pinto defect that caused many automobiles to combust and burn up in the 1970s is a famous example. However, more recent examples are the whipped cream dispenser that exploded and killed a fashion blogger in Paris, France.
In these cases, the company producing such products has a direct, unquestionable, legal obligation to create products that are safe for public use, when used as directed. Any product that results in a death even when being used as intended, calls for immediate legal action.
In all of these cases, the common factor is that improper care was exercised, leading to an unwarranted, preventable death. If this has happened to you, and you have lost someone due to another person or organization's negligence, talk to a wrongful death attorney about your next step..