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Types Of Wrongful Death Occurrences

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Types Of Wrongful Death Occurrences

Whenever someone’s death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person, it is considered a wrongful death. FindLaw outlines the necessary elements necessary for a case to be defined as wrongful death, it includes four components:

  1. The death of a person.
  2. The death was caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct, or with intent to cause harm.
  3. There is at least one surviving family member who is suffering from monetary issues due to the death.
  4. A personal representative was appointed to the decedent’s estate.


According to Nolo, most wrongful death incidents are caused by the following types of occurrences.

1. Automobile/Motorcycle Accidents

According to the National Safety Council, approximately 38,800 people were killed in car crashes as of 2019. As for motorcycle accidents, in 2017 there were 5,172 fatalities due to crashes according to the Insurance Information Institute. In any case where the action someone leads to someone else’s death, it may be considered a wrongful death, meaning that the remaining family members may be entitled to compensation. The crash could have been intentional, accidental, or even caused by a car or motorcycle manufacturer defect, however, no matter why it happened, someone will be held responsible. In most cases, the driver will probably be held responsible, however, if it was due to a car or motorcycle manufacturer defect, then there a multitude of different people along the supply chain that may be held responsible.

2. Airplane Accidents

The Aviation Safety Network reported that there was a total of 15 fatal aviation accidents in 2018 that leading to 556 deaths. ASN also stated that one of the major safety concerns in the flight of an airplane was “loss of control”, which was the cause of most crashes. As long as the crash occurred due to a result of some sort of negligence, the remaining family members may be eligible to file a suit for wrongful death. However, it is always best to discuss your options with a lawyer first.

3. Medical Malpractice

The Johns Hopkins medical experts have identified medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States. Based on a recent study done by the Johns Hopkins team, nearly 250,000 or more people die every year in the United States due to medical mistakes. When medical professional does not provide adequate care up to the standards of care, they can be held accountable for their negligent actions through a medical malpractice claim. Subsequentially, if that error resulted in the death of the patient, the remaining family members can then file a wrongful death lawsuit.

4. Product Liability

In cases concerning defective products that with normal usage that ultimately result in death, determining who is responsible in a claim regarding a product defect may require a bit or investigation. There are a multitude of different people involved within the supply chain. The defect could have been a result of the initial materials, how it was put together, or the overall design. Once it is determined which of these stages ultimately caused the defect, then wrongful death claim may be filed. The loved ones of the deceased may then file a wrongful death claim in regard to whoever was deemed responsible.

5. Accidents at Work

If your loved one is killed due to a construction accident while on the job, then you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. OSHA states that nearly 18.5% of all workplace deaths in the U.S. happen within the construction industry. The top four causes of death in the industry include, falls, electrocutions, and being struck by or caught in between and object. However, most workers are covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation laws often prevent the surviving family members of the deceased from filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions. If it can be proven that the employer was exemplifying gross negligence, or intentional reckless conduct, then the right to file a wrongful death suit may still stand. There are many ways to go about filing a wrongful death lawsuit when it comes to workplace fatalities, in order to get the best compensation, you deserve it is vital to talk to a lawyer to discuss your options. Contact Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. to get the assistance you may need to navigate your case.

6. Animal Attacks

In the majority of states there is a strict liability standard for owners when it comes to who is responsible in the event of animal attacks. The owner of the animal is always expected to be aware if their animal is prone to acting violent in situations, and if so, they should always be able to control them. If they are unable to control their animal in an event of an attack, they will most likely be held liable. If you have lost a loved one due to an animal attack, you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the owner of the animal that fatally attacked your loved one. When suing the owner, if they do not have the money to provide compensation, they may carry different types of insurance that could cover the damage. Such as, homeowner’s, landlord’s, or renter’s insurance. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. It is even harder when it occurs due to the negligence of someone else. We are here to help you navigate this difficult process and help you get the compensation you deserve.


If you are in the Chicago area, Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. offers free consultations for anyone who would like to discuss their case. We know that it is never easy to lose a loved one, but we are here to help you receive the compensation that you need. The attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg Law Group never charge a fee until they win a settlement for you. You can contact them today at by calling 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Law Group Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office.

The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.

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