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Types of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death accidents can be incredibly traumatic for a family due to the sudden and unexpected nature of the loss. One moment, the family may be going about their day, and the next, they receive the devastating news that their loved one was killed in an accident. This shock and immediate loss can have long-lasting psychological effects on family members, leaving them struggling to come to terms with the tragic event.

Furthermore, the legal process that often follows a wrongful death auto accident can add to the trauma experienced by the family. Dealing with insurance companies, filing a lawsuit, and attending court hearings can be emotionally draining and time-consuming. 

Family members may feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the Arizona legal system and the need to fight for justice for their loved ones. Having experienced lawyers on your side will help you navigate the court system and get you the compensation you deserve. With that in mind, here are some of the most common reasons for wrongful death in Arizona.

Vehicle Accidents

A vehicle accident wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions while operating a motor vehicle. These accidents can involve cars, motorcycles, trucks, or any other type of vehicle. Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a death caused by the reckless, careless, or intentional acts of another person or entity. In the context of a vehicle accident, it means that the deceased person’s family or estate believes that their loved one’s death was caused by the misconduct or negligence of another person involved in the accident.

To establish a vehicle accident wrongful death, certain elements must be proven. Firstly, it must be shown that the death was caused by the accident. Secondly, it needs to be demonstrated that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional acts. This can include actions such as speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, or violations of traffic laws. Finally, the surviving family or estate of the deceased must provide evidence of the damages they have suffered as a result of the death, such as funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress. 

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

A wrongful death pedestrian and bicycle accident refers to a situation where a person is killed while walking or cycling due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual or entity. These accidents often occur as a result of drivers failing to yield the right of way, driving under the influence, distracted driving, speeding, or violating traffic laws. In such cases, the victim’s family or legal representatives may file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties for their actions or lack of care that led to the fatal accident.

To establish a wrongful death claim in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim and that this duty was breached due to negligence or misconduct. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or inaction directly caused the victim’s death. This may involve gathering evidence such as eyewitness testimonies, surveillance footage, accident reconstruction reports, medical records, and expert opinions to support the claim.

In a wrongful death pedestrian or bicycle accident, the surviving family members or legal representatives may be entitled to damages, including compensation for medical expenses related to the accident, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. 

The amount of compensation awarded will depend on various factors, such as the victim’s earning potential, their age, the extent of their injuries, and the financial losses suffered by the surviving family members. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the defendant for their egregious conduct and to deter others from behaving similarly in the future.

Premises Liability Accidents

Premises liability accidents can tragically result in wrongful death when individuals are injured or killed while on someone else’s property. These accidents often occur due to hazardous conditions or negligence on behalf of the property owner or manager. For example, slip and fall accidents can happen if a property owner fails to address a wet spot or uneven surface. If someone were to suffer fatal injuries from such an accident, their family may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Another common type of premises liability accident that can lead to wrongful death is inadequate security. Property owners must ensure their premises are safe and secure for visitors, which includes implementing appropriate security measures. If a property owner fails to provide adequate security, it can result in harm or fatal injuries to visitors. This can arise in instances such as assaults, robberies, or other crimes that could have been prevented with proper security measures in place.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide the standard of care expected in their profession, resulting in harm or injury to a patient. In some cases, this negligence can lead to wrongful death. For example, if a surgeon makes an error during a procedure, such as operating on the wrong site or leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient’s body, it can lead to severe complications or fatal infections. Similarly, if a doctor misdiagnoses a serious condition, such as cancer, and fails to provide proper treatment, the patient’s condition may worsen to the point of death.

Another way medical malpractice can result in wrongful death is through medication errors. Healthcare professionals are responsible for prescribing and administering the correct medications to patients. If they make a mistake, such as prescribing the wrong dosage or failing to recognize potential drug interactions, it can have deadly consequences. For instance, administering an incorrect dosage of a powerful medication can lead to an overdose and result in organ failure or cardiac arrest, leading to the patient’s death.

Furthermore, medical malpractice can result in wrongful death if proper precautions are not taken during childbirth. Obstetricians and healthcare providers are responsible for monitoring the health and safety of both the mother and the baby during pregnancy and delivery. If they fail to anticipate and appropriately respond to complications, it can lead to severe trauma, birth injuries, or even maternal or fetal death. Examples of negligence in childbirth can include failing to recognize signs of distress, improper use of birthing tools, or not performing a necessary emergency cesarean section promptly, resulting in fatal complications.

Accidental Poisoning and Overdoses

Accidental poisoning and overdoses can result in wrongful death due to various factors. Firstly, the misuse or incorrect administration of medication or drugs can lead to severe health consequences and even death. This can occur if the wrong dosage is given, if the medication is taken by someone who is not prescribed for it, or if the substance is mixed with other drugs or alcohol, causing a dangerous reaction. When these accidents occur as a result of negligence on the part of medical professionals or manufacturers, it can be considered wrongful death.

Accidental poisoning and overdoses can occur due to product defects or hazardous substances. For example, a defective product may contain toxic ingredients that can cause harm or death if ingested or inhaled. Additionally, contaminated food or drinks can lead to poisoning if consumed unknowingly. In these cases, if the poison or overdose resulted from a product defect or the negligence of the manufacturer or distributor, it may constitute a wrongful death.

Drowning or Boating Accidents

Wrongful death boating and drowning accidents are unfortunately more common than one might think. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were a total of 613 boating-related fatalities in 2019 alone. While not all of these fatalities are wrongful death cases, many of them involve negligence on behalf of the boat operator or other parties involved. 

Although specific statistics for wrongful death cases in boating and drowning accidents are not readily available, it is clear that these types of incidents occur too frequently and result in the loss of many lives each year.

Multiple factors contribute to the prevalence of wrongful death boating and drowning accidents. One significant factor is the lack of safety precautions taken by boaters. Negligent behavior, such as operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding or failing to have proper safety equipment on board, increases the risk of accidents occurring. 

Additionally, a lack of boating experience or knowledge of safety regulations can lead to dangerous situations that result in drowning or wrongful death. Insufficient training, poor supervision of swimmers, and failure to wear life jackets are among the most common contributing factors in drowning cases.

Workplace Accidents and Illnesses

Workplace accidents and illnesses can tragically result in a wrongful death when an employee loses their life due to negligence or unsafe conditions in the workplace. Employers have a legal duty to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees, and failing to meet these obligations can have fatal consequences. 

In some cases, workplace accidents and illnesses can also result in a wrongful death if an employee’s death is caused by a third party’s negligence. For example, if an employee is involved in a car accident while on the job due to the negligent actions of another driver, the employee’s family may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. 

To pursue a wrongful death claim related to a workplace accident or illness, it is crucial to establish that the death was a direct result of the employer or third party’s negligence. This typically requires gathering evidence, such as witness testimonies, medical records, safety reports, and expert opinions. 

Furthermore, it is important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney with expertise in types of wrongful death who can guide the family through the complex legal process, helping them understand the types of wrongful death and their rights and options. Compensation obtained through a wrongful death lawsuit can alleviate the financial burden on the deceased employee’s family, covering funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and other damages they may have incurred.

Defective Products

Defective products can result in wrongful death when they pose significant risks to the safety and well-being of consumers. For example, a defective home appliance may catch fire or malfunction, leading to a house fire that results in fatalities. Similarly, a faulty car part, such as a faulty brake system or airbag, can cause a fatal accident on the road. In these cases, the manufacturer or any party involved in the distribution and sale of the defective product can be held liable for the wrongful death caused by their negligence.

In addition to physical harm, defective products can also lead to wrongful death through exposure to hazardous substances. Industries that involve chemicals or toxic materials may produce faulty or poorly labeled products that can result in fatal exposure. 

Moreover, defective medical products or devices can also cause wrongful death. If a medical device, such as a pacemaker or artificial joint, is faulty and malfunctions, it can lead to complications or fatal injuries for the patient. 

Similarly, medication errors due to defective pharmaceutical products, incorrect labeling, or contaminated drugs can have severe consequences, including death. In these cases, healthcare providers, manufacturers, or any party involved in the distribution and administration of defective medical products can be held accountable for the resulting wrongful death.

How Can Torgenson Law Help? 

If your loved one passed away due to someone else’s negligence, let the wrongful death accident lawyers at Torgenson Law provide a free consultation to evaluate your situation and determine who is at fault. 

We investigate the unique circumstances surrounding your case and work to build the strongest case for compensation. Our attorneys are expert litigators who are prepared to go to trial if needed to achieve justice. For a free and confidential case evaluation, reach out online or call us at 602-726-0747.

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