A couple upset at a funeral.

When a person’s life is cut short due to another’s negligence or failure to act responsibly, it leaves behind grief for the surviving family members. There are seven common types of wrongful death cases, including those from car, medical, and work-related incidents, premises liability, boating and swimming pool accidents, defective products, and aviation accidents.

If you’re dealing with the loss of someone close and think it might be a case of wrongful death, OKC Injury Lawyers is ready to support you. We know that no amount of money can make up for your loss, but it can bring a sense of fairness and help with finances. For caring legal advice and to learn about your choices for making a claim, call us at 405-906-4051 for a free consultation.

1. Motor Vehicle Accident Wrongful Death Claims

Imagine this situation: You’re at home when the phone rings with news that stops you in your tracks. A loved one has been in a car accident and because the other driver wasn’t paying attention or was driving recklessly, your family is faced with a wrongful death claim and seeking justice for a life taken too soon.

Motor vehicle accidents, often caused by driver negligence, account for a significant number of wrongful death cases each year. More than 300,000 lives are lost annually due to car accidents, a tragic statistic that highlights the magnitude of this issue.

Car Accident Fatalities

Car accidents are a common cause of wrongful death lawsuits, with reckless behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence often playing a major role. These actions constitute negligence, forming the basis for a wrongful death claim. But how do families prove the responsible driver’s negligence?

The process of proving negligence can be overwhelming, but with the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney from OKC Injury Lawyers, families can find their way. By demonstrating that the driver exhibited reckless behavior, such as driving without a license or under the influence, families can file a successful wrongful death lawsuit, seeking compensation for their loss.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle riders are incredibly vulnerable on the road. Without the protective shell of a car or truck, they face higher risks, often sustaining severe injuries in accidents. These accidents can be caused by several factors, including motorists pulling out in front of riders or making left turns in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

This increased vulnerability amplifies the tragic outcomes of motorcycle accidents, with riders being 24 times more likely to die in a crash compared to car occupants. The result? A higher probability of wrongful death cases and an increased need for professional legal support.

Truck and Semi-Truck Accidents

Truck accidents present unique challenges. Given their size and weight, trucks can cause more serious injuries or fatalities in collisions compared to other vehicles. Truck drivers bear a significant responsibility for road safety. Any negligence on their part can have serious consequences, leading to life-threatening injuries or death.

Accidents can also occur due to reasons beyond driver negligence. For instance, inadequate safety equipment can increase the severity of truck accidents. In such cases, the company owning the truck may be held liable, emphasizing the importance of having an experienced wrongful death attorney.

2. Medical Malpractice

Imagine entrusting your health or the health of a loved one to a medical professional, only to have that trust shattered by negligence or error. Medical malpractice ranks as the third leading cause of death in the United States, with preventable, malpractice-related deaths estimated at 22,000 per year.

Misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or even leaving surgical tools inside patients are common causes of medical malpractice leading to wrongful death. Proving medical errors can be a complex process, requiring a deep dive into medical records, expert testimony, and an understanding of healthcare standards. This challenge arises because it’s necessary to demonstrate not just the occurrence of an adverse outcome, but also that the result was directly caused by an action or lack of action that deviates from the accepted medical practice.

Medical professionals are highly trained and the standard of care is specific, which means that proving a deviation from this standard requires a comprehensive, detailed argument backed by credible medical opinions and concrete evidence. These situations are a painful reality and families often require legal support for a wrongful death claim.

Birth Injury Resulting in Loss

The birth of a child is a joyous occasion, although sometimes this joy turns into a nightmare when medical negligence causes birth injuries leading to the loss of the child. These heart-wrenching situations may be categorized as medical malpractice, where the failure of medical personnel to meet required care standards could be a significant factor.

When such tragedies occur, it is essential for the affected families to seek legal support to address the malpractice and pursue justice for their loss. Legal professionals can provide guidance and representation to ensure that those responsible for the negligence are held accountable.

Birth injury cases are particularly distressing, but they can also result in significant financial settlements. In some instances, these settlements can amount to millions of dollars, providing some financial relief to grieving families.

Medication and Surgical Mistakes

Medication and surgical mistakes can also lead to wrongful deaths in medical malpractice cases. Whether it’s prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or complications during surgery, these mistakes can lead to fatal outcomes.

3. Workplace Accidents

Workplaces, particularly in high-risk industries like construction, are the scene of a wide range of accidents leading to wrongful death claims. In 2022, the number of preventable work deaths rose by 5%, reaching a total of 4,695 fatal incidents. Wrongful death lawsuits provide a critical support system for families to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and missed income due to the loss of a loved one.

Construction Site Dangers

Construction sites can be hotspots for preventable fatal injuries. From falling from heights to being struck by heavy machinery, the hazards are numerous. In some cases, wrongful death cases on construction sites have led to settlements that provide significant financial relief and support to the families affected.

It’s not just about monetary compensation. These cases underscore the need for comprehensive safety measures on construction sites. Some important safety measures include:

  • The use of safety railings
  • Fall protection equipment
  • Regular safety inspections
  • Proper training for workers
  • Adequate signage and warnings

Every precaution, including the use of proper safety equipment, can make a difference in preventing such tragedies. It is essential for companies to provide proper safety equipment to their employees to ensure a safe working environment.

Insufficient Workplace Safety Measures

Imagine a situation where a construction worker fell from a poorly secured scaffolding at a height of several stories. The incident, which occurred due to the employer’s failure to provide adequate safety measures, led to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the grieving family.

Accidents can still occur due to insufficient workplace safety measures. From neglecting safety inspections to bypassing safety features, these failures can lead to a fatal workplace accident.

In such cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may arise from a work-related incident where an employer puts an employee in a hazardous situation.

4. Premises Liability

When safety fails on a property, the result can be a premises liability accident leading to a wrongful death claim. Some common types of premises accidents include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Being struck by an object
  • Tripping over hazards
  • Falling from heights
  • Being attacked by an animal

These accidents can occur due to the failure to maintain the property or unmarked unsafe areas. Property owners need to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of visitors and prevent these accidents from happening.

5. Boating and Swimming Pool Accidents

Leisure activities, often associated with relaxation and fun, can turn tragic due to negligence. Boating and swimming pool accidents are prime examples, resulting in wrongful deaths due to reasons such as insufficient water vessel inspection, lack of safety barriers around pools, or inadequate lifeguard presence. Additionally, drowning is a leading cause of death among children, often due to the negligence of property owners or government agencies.

6. Defective Products

Defective products often cause wrongful deaths unbeknownst to the user. These defects can range from design flaws and manufacturing errors to marketing defects.

From power tools and children’s car seats to airplane engines, a variety of defective products have caused wrongful deaths. Regardless of the type of defect, families have the right to seek compensation for their loss.

7. Aviation Accidents

Aviation accidents, often resulting in catastrophic outcomes, can be another significant source of wrongful death lawsuits. Some common causes of aviation accidents could include:

  • Mechanical issues
  • Pilot errors
  • Weather conditions
  • Air traffic control errors

With experienced legal support, families can navigate aviation law and ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for their negligence.

Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim

To establish a premises liability wrongful death case, the following elements must be proven:

  1. The property owner had a duty of care towards the occupants or visitors.
  2. There was a breach of this duty due to the property owner’s negligence, leading to a hazardous condition.
  3. The property owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition.
  4. This hazardous condition was the direct cause of the fatal injury.

While this process can be intricate, OKC Injury Lawyers are prepared to assist families in proving negligence and pursuing justice.

How OKC Injury Lawyers Can Help You

In the face of such tragic circumstances, families need professional legal support more than ever. Our legal team at OKC Injury Lawyers offers consultations to discuss rights and the wrongful death claim process, we provide invaluable assistance to affected families. Call us at 405-906-4051 to schedule your free consultation.

Operating on a contingency fee basis, OKC Injury Lawyers ensures that clients do not incur attorney fees unless compensation is secured. With our extensive experience in wrongful death lawsuits, we can guide families through the legal process, providing the support they desperately need in these trying times.

Frequently Asked Questions

The family can prove negligence in a wrongful death case by showing that the responsible party failed to fulfill their duty of care, directly resulting in the tragic outcome.

Settlements in wrongful death cases are calculated based on factors such as medical costs, funeral expenses, lost income, and emotional distress. These help determine the total compensation.

Yes, families can sue for wrongful death in cases of leisure activity accidents if negligence can be proven. This includes incidents where safety protocols were not followed, where equipment was faulty or improperly maintained, or where proper warnings were not provided. Pursuing these claims can be a way for families to receive closure and compensation for their losses.

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim varies by state. Generally, it ranges from one to three years from the date of the deceased person’s death. However, there can be exceptions depending on the specific circumstances of the case, such as in cases involving minors or when the cause of death was discovered later.

In the United States, wrongful death settlements are generally not subject to federal income taxes. However, any punitive damages awarded are taxable. It’s important to consult with a tax professional to understand the tax implications of a wrongful death settlement in your specific case.