Types of Wrongful Death Claims


Losing a loved one is never easy, but when their death is caused by another person’s actions or failure to act, you may be left wondering whether there is a way to hold them accountable. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. While the following list is not all-encompassing, it provides a look at some of the most common types of wrongful death cases.

1. Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are responsible for thousands of deaths in Florida each year. Many are caused by negligence such as distracted or reckless driving, speeding, or driving under the influence.

In addition, accidents with commercial vehicles and semi-trucks are typically fatal, due to their size and weight. These incidents are often caused by oversized or improperly secured loads, driver error, mechanical failures, or improper maintenance.

2. Defective Products

Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe before putting them on the market. If a person dies after using a defective product, the executor of their estate can sue the manufacturer. This is known as product liability. Some common cases include toxic foods, defective pharmaceutical products, defective automobiles, and unsafe products designed for children.

3. Medical Malpractice

While most medical professionals are responsible and highly skilled, mistakes still happen. This may occur when medical personnel cuts corners, fails to follow proper procedures, or simply misses something important.

Some common wrongful death cases associated with medical malpractice include failure to diagnose a condition, misdiagnosis, and errors during surgery or while treating a condition. Birth errors, hospital negligence, and prescribing errors may also lead to a wrongful death claim.

4. Work-Related Accidents and Illnesses

Some high-risk occupations have higher instances of workplace fatalities. However, wrongful death can occur in any type of job. Some common situations that have caused fatal work-related injuries include falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, or being caught between machinery, materials, or structures.

Work-related wrongful death can also occur outside of work if the employer’s actions put the employee in a dangerous situation. For example, lawsuits have been won against employers who required an employee to work excessive hours, causing exhaustion that led to a fatal car accident on the way home.

5. Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Accidents

Due to lack of protection, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians are often killed when they are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. Many times, these accidents are caused by the driver’s negligence. The county or city may also be liable if, for example, the driver couldn’t see a pedestrian due to a lack of visible crosswalks.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Gallagher & Hagopian

If a loved one has suffered a tragic accident due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to consult with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. The skilled and compassionate attorneys at Gallagher & Hagopian will provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.