If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident or due to medical malpractice, you may be wondering if you can seek restitution. When the death is the result of the reckless, negligent, or intentional behavior of another person, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit provided you are the parent, spouse, or child of the deceased.
Wrongful death lawsuits look to recover expenses and losses related to the death, such as funeral costs and medical bills. In Georgia, these lawsuits also seek to compensate surviving family for the full value of the person’s life, including loss of future income and even the monetary value of intangible losses, such as loss of care or companionship.
Most Frequent Cases
The most common wrongful deaths are caused by some sort of accident or medical error. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their life to each. Accidents were the third leading cause of death in the US in 2018, with over 167,000 Americans losing their lives this way, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And medical errors are estimated to cause over 250,000 deaths annually, according to a recent study by Purdue University professors.
Here are some of the most common wrongful death causes that result in legal action:
- Truck accident – over 4,000 people died in accidents involving large trucks in 2018. Just like automobile drivers, truck drivers could be negligent in causing an accident if they were sleepy, texting, or drunk while driving, or if they failed to properly check their blind spot. Poor truck maintenance could also be a negligent cause. The truck driver, the company that employs them, and even the truck manufacturer could all be liable, depending on the reason for the accident.
- Car accident – automobile accidents are often the result of one driver’s negligence. This might be due to the driver texting, being otherwise distracted, speeding, drunk driving, or drowsy driving. The negligent driver could be liable for the death of the other driver or the passengers in either car.
- Workplace accident – employers are bound by Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards to provide a safe working environment. When an employee dies as the result of an accident on the job, the employer could be liable for a wrongful death, whether it’s from defective equipment, lack of training, or improper safety guidelines.
- Defective product – if use of a defective product leads to a wrongful death, the manufacturer could be liable. Dangerous product design or the failure to provide proper instructions could also result in a wrongful death claim against a manufacturer. Defective toys or childcare products and pharmaceuticals often fall into this category.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect – while nursing homes are supposed to take care of their patients, elderly residents are sometimes neglected or even abused. If this neglect or abuse leads to death, the staff member or nursing home could be liable.
- Pedestrian accident – drivers are usually the cause of pedestrian deaths. Sometimes, even if a driver causes a pedestrian death, the city or other government entity could be liable if a walkway isn’t visible to drivers.
- Medical malpractice – this occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider makes a negligent or reckless error in treatment that results in death. It could also result from a wrong diagnosis, faulty aftercare, or an error in health management.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney at The King Firm
If you believe someone you love died as the result of negligence or recklessness, whether due to an accident or medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation. At The King Firm, our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue the best possible results in your case. Contact us today at 229-515-8585 for a free case consultation.