Wrongful death is a legal term for a death caused by willful negligence or misconduct of another party.
The family members of the dead person sue the negligent party for the death of their loved one. Often, these cases are against corporations and businesses.
It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that they provide safe products and services and working environments for their employees. Where their actions lead to death, they are held accountable for their failures.
Wrongful death cases are either settled in or out of court
Let us explore the negligent acts that may lead to wrongful death and the steps to hold corporations and businesses accountable for their actions.
Table of Contents
- Negligent Acts That May Lead to Wrongful Death
- Holding Corporations and Businesses Accountable
Negligent Acts That May Lead to Wrongful Death
Holding a business accountable for wrongful death caused by negligent practices or defective products is an excruciating process.
By working with an experienced wrongful death attorney and taking the appropriate legal steps, families can get justice and accountability from the negligent parties.
Many types of negligent acts can lead to wrongful death. The following are the most common:
Product liability means that businesses and corporations that manufacture, distribute, and sell items are responsible for injuries and damages from the use of their products.
The following are the main types of product defects that can lead to wrongful death and suit or claim:
- Design Defects occur due to an inherent error in the product that makes it dangerous. For example, a car with a design flaw that causes it to be unstable and prone to rolling over could lead to a fatal accident.
- Manufacturing Defects. Poor manufacturing processes may lead to defective and dangerous products that cause wrongful death. For example, a defectively manufactured airbag that fails to deploy during a car accident could lead to fatal injuries.
- Marketing Defects. Poor marketing or false advertising can lead consumers to the wrongful use of products which may cause wrongful death.
Property owners and occupiers are responsible for keeping the property in safe and proper condition. Premises liability holds them accountable for accidental injuries and deaths that may occur on the property.
There are several ways that poor property maintenance can lead to wrongful death, including:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of premises liability cases. Owners and occupiers should put warning signs for visitors and clean up spills to prevent slip and fall accidents.
- Inadequate Security: Property owners and occupiers must provide adequate security to protect visitors and guests from harm. Poor security can lead to criminal activity and violence, resulting in fatal injuries.
- Dangerous Conditions: All properties should be kept reasonably safe. Fixing hazardous conditions such as broken stairs or handrails, repairing unsafe electrical wiring, or poorly maintained elevators are some ways property owners can keep their guests and occupiers from wrongful death. Failure to address these dangerous conditions can lead to fatal accidents.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide a patient with the appropriate standard of care, leading to injury or death.
The following are examples of medical malpractice.
- Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional fails to diagnose a patient’s medical condition correctly. It results in delayed or inappropriate treatment, which can ultimately lead to death.
- Surgical Errors happen when a surgeon makes a mistake during a surgical procedure. It can include performing the wrong surgical operation, damaging an organ or tissue, or leaving surgical equipment inside the patient’s body. These errors can lead to fatal complications.
- Medication Errors happen when a healthcare professional prescribes the wrong medication or dosage. It can cause adverse reactions or even death.
Workplace accidents are an unfortunate reality in many industries. Workplace accidents that cause death result in a wrongful death claim.
Here are some ways that workplace accidents can lead to wrongful death, including:
- Negligence: Employers must provide a safe working environment for their employees. When they fail to take the necessary safety precautions, such as providing proper training, maintenance of equipment, and safety protocols, it can result in fatal accidents.
- Defective Products: Sometimes, defective products and equipment lead to workplace accidents. Faulty machinery, tools, or safety gear that fails to protect the employee can cause fatal accidents.
- Toxic Exposure: Some industries, such as construction and manufacturing, involve exposure to harmful substances that can lead to long-term health effects or even death.
Holding Corporations and Businesses Accountable
Holding corporations and businesses accountable for wrongful death takes time and resources. It is achievable if you seek help early from competent attorneys.
Here are steps to follow to succeed in holding corporations and businesses accountable:
Collecting evidence is the first step in holding a corporation or business accountable for wrongful death.
The evidence you need includes photographs and witness statements that show the corporation’s negligence as the cause of the accident.
The evidence will help in proving your case and request for compensation.
Identify the Responsible Parties
Secondly, identify the parties responsible for creating a safe working environment. It could be the business leaders or equipment manufacturers who supply defective machines that cause accidents and death.
Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
Third, hire a lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases. They will offer quality advice and guidance on the legal process and help you build a strong case.
File a Lawsuit
If you cannot settle out of court, the next step is to file a lawsuit against the corporation. Your attorney will help you here.
In this step, both sides will exchange information and evidence relevant to the case.
Negotiate a Settlement
When the family and the corporation or business agree to negotiate a settlement, they end up with a structure to get the compensation amount.
They will consider medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering to determine the settlement amount.
In the final stage of the negotiation or mediation, the family gets awarded compensation.
Holding corporations to account for accidental death is an arduous process. Hire a competent and experienced wrongful death lawyer to make the process easy to ensure the justice you deserve.