If you have experienced the unexpected loss of a family member, you understand how difficult the grieving process can be. A wrongful death lawsuit compensates the family (a surviving spouse, parent, or children) of those killed by the negligent or willful acts of another. The list of causes that may lead to wrongful death claim is quite long. While there is no amount of money that can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit allows the family to be compensated for the loss of their loved one. Below are a few of the most common causes of a wrongful death claim in Kansas or Missouri:
- Automobile Accidents – Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that in the year 2018, approximately 36,750 people in the United States died in automobile accidents. Surviving family members often file claims and lawsuits to seek financial compensation from the responsible parties that may include other motorists, commercial truck drivers, and automobile manufacturers.
- Bicycle Accidents – Just like automobile accidents there are fatalities in bike incidents as well and the family can bring a wrongful death claim against a negligent or reckless driver who caused the death of their family member while they were riding their bike.
- Pedestrian Accidents - While pedestrians are required to obey traffic devices and the rules of the road, motorists are required to exercise reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. Failure to exercise this due care could result in the wrongful death of a pedestrian.
- Medical Malpractice - When a loved one dies due to the negligence of a medical professional, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to receive financial compensation.
- Nursing Home Accidents – Similarly to medical malpractice cases, causes of wrongful death caused by nursing homes are due to the negligence of health care providers. It is a nursing home’s responsibility to hire a sufficient number of trained and trusted health care providers. Bedsores are a common reason for a death that occurred in a nursing home. Bedsores can easily be prevented by regular checks and early detection of a bedsore can prevent its development and minimize the harm caused to the patient.
- Work-Related Accidents - Accidents that happened on the job because of dangerous work environments can cause a wrongful death claim.
- Criminal Acts of Another - Individuals who committed an unlawful act that caused the wrongful death of a loved one can be held accountable through a civil lawsuit. In fact, it is not required that the individual be convicted of their crime before the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. For instance, in January of 1997, a little over a year after O.J. Simpson was found not guilty in the criminal case for the murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, the Goldman family brought a wrongful death suit against Simpson in civil court. This is because district attorney’s handle criminal court proceedings, whereas civil lawsuits are generally file by the loved ones of the deceased. In the civil case against Simpson, he was ordered to pay a total of $33.5 million to the families of his two victims, according to the New York Times.
- Products Liability - If there is a defect in the design, development, or manufacturing of a product and a loved one is killed because of the defect, the responsible parties can be held accountable in a wrongful death claim.
- Preventable Child Deaths – Likely the most difficult type of wrongful death claims are those that involve the death of a child. As children not able to care for themselves before a certain age, they are often placed in the care of someone else when they are not with their parents during the day. If these other people (like day care staff) experience a lapse in judgment or become distracted, they expose the child to dangerous conditions.
The family members that have lost a loved one as a result of the intentional, reckless, or negligent actions of another are entitled to receive financial compensation from a wrongful death suit. The compensation can be had through a settlement or from a verdict at trial can be used for a variety of expenses including these and more:
- Past hospital bills and medical expenses of the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Recovery of lost past and future earnings
- Property damage
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
Has A Loved One Died Due To The Negligence Of Others?
If your loved one has died due to the negligence of someone else an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you hold them responsible. Contact Foster Wallace today fora free, no obligation consultation.