Raising Awareness on Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Posted in: Wrongful Death | Sep 14,2023

Wrongful death lawsuits can stem from a wide variety of circumstances and situations. An individual’s fatally negligent actions, whether or not they are intentional, may not constitute a crime such as murder or assault. However, the victim’s surviving family will still face emotional hardship and financial burdens associated with losing a loved one. Some accidents are unavoidable, but many common causes of wrongful death are preventable through raising awareness or increased education and training efforts. 

The ensuing lawsuits are often complex, legally technically challenging cases as the burden of proof for wrongful death is high. This post identifies some of the most common causes of wrongful death, as well as ways to best prevent future similar tragedies.


Medical Malpractice

Mistakes, unfortunately, can and do happen in any professional setting. When a doctor or nurse makes a mistake—such as a misdiagnosis, prescription medication error, surgical or anesthesia mistakes, or other provider negligence—they can have fatal consequences. 

Preventing medical malpractice begins with improved and enhanced education and training efforts for medical professionals. Better communication and strict adherence to established protocols and best practices can also help eliminate careless, potentially fatal mistakes. Patients aren’t often inclined to doubt their doctor’s prescribed treatment or medication choices. As a prevention and awareness measure, it’s recommended that patients seek out additional opinions whenever possible, especially if there are any questions surrounding a diagnosis or decision.


Vehicular Accidents

Vehicle collisions, including car and truck accidents, train collisions, and motorcycle crashes, can be fatal when caused by reckless or distracted driving, drinking and driving, or disobeying traffic laws.

Public awareness and education campaigns are common tactics for preventing and mitigating wrongful deaths due to common traffic safety issues. Public service announcements and commercial campaigns can warn against the dangers of drinking and driving, speeding, or not wearing seat belts. Stricter enforcement of traffic laws and more advancements in vehicle safety technology are other ongoing efforts to deter and prevent wrongful deaths from motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents.


Workplace Accidents

Exposure to hazardous materials, equipment malfunctions, and fatal falls or other accidents can occur in many professional workplace settings, although they’re most common at construction sites. Construction is one of the country’s most hazardous industries, accounting for almost 22% of fatal workplace injuries in 2020 and averaging nearly 1,000 per year between 2011 and 2020, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Employers can sometimes be held responsible when a worker dies in a work-related accident involving company property.

Stringent compliance regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) constitute a significant factor in oversight and preventive measures designed to stop workplace injuries and accidents from occurring. Robust safety regulations taught through comprehensive employee training, proper protective equipment, and regular workplace safety inspections can also help minimize human errors or accidents that can lead to fatal injuries.


Premises Liabilities

When visiting a public place or being invited onto private business property, individuals are owed a high duty of care. Wrongful death suits can arise from negligence or a lack of required care, such as a slip-and-fall accident, inadequate security contributing to an assault or other overlooked hazards on the premises.

Businesses and property owners must maintain safe premises and address any potential dangers promptly to limit the potential for fatal injuries on their property. Holding individuals, companies, and other organizations or institutions accountable for their negligence or wrongful actions through legal means can also act as an effective deterrent against future incidents.


Dangerously Defective Products

Manufacturers can be held liable for deaths caused by defective consumer products, pharmaceuticals, machinery, medical devices, and more. Emphasizing safety in designs, stricter product safety regulations, and thorough testing procedures are the most significant drivers in curbing these types of injuries and fatalities, while cautious and well-informed end users can also do their part to use products as intended and prevent unnecessary tragedy.

Raising awareness of wrongful death causes is one part of proactive, preventative measures. When unfortunate, tragic events have caused the untimely passing of a loved one, legal efforts have held those responsible accountable and limit further suffering by preventing the same thing from happening to anyone else.


If you have a loved one who has died due to another party’s negligence, the wrongful death attorneys at Montross Miller can examine your case, answer your questions, and explore your options to help your family find a new path forward. Reach out to our dedicated team of highly experienced legal experts today.