Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims


When a loved one is killed due to another person’s negligence, no amount of money will bring them back. However, filing a wrongful death claim could help hold the responsible party accountable and give the deceased’s dependents some additional financial security.

Understanding the most common types of wrongful death claims can help you identify whether you may have grounds for filing a lawsuit. Here’s a look at some of the cases we frequently see in our practice.

1. Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021 alone. Wrongful deaths often occur as a result of car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents. Reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are just a few of the negligent behaviors that may result in a fatal accident.

2. Medical Malpractice

When healthcare professionals cut corners or do not follow proper procedures, the outcome is often deadly. Medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits often arise from surgical errors, birth injuries, pharmaceutical errors, or misdiagnosis. Delayed or improper treatment, lack of informed consent, and defective medical devices are also common causes of wrongful death.

3. Defective Products

Product manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the items they make are safe for public use. Products that are defective or fail to warn users about potential dangers can create hazards that may lead to death. Some examples include defective vehicles, toxic food containers or products, pharmaceuticals, dangerous toys, and unsafe childcare products.

4. Workplace Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide employees with a safe working environment. When the employer fails to do this, workplace injuries and deaths may occur. Some common examples include manufacturing accidents, railroad worker deaths, and deaths that occur as a result of working in the transportation industry. Exposure to asbestos that later led to death from mesothelioma or another related disease may also be grounds for a wrongful death claim.

5. Premises Liability Accidents

A property owner has a responsibility to keep the area safe for visitors, workers who are fulfilling a duty (such as a delivery driver), and in some cases, even trespassers. If an individual sustains a fatal injury on someone else’s property, that person may be held liable. This may occur if a person slips and falls, is struck by or against an object, drowns in a pool, or suffers any other type of injury that leads to death.

Consult with a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, the executor of their estate may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Scheduling a free case evaluation is the best way to determine whether you may have grounds to sue.

The attorneys at Gallagher & Hagopian have won more than $300 million in settlements for our clients. Contact us today to discuss your case with a member of our team.