If you have lost a loved one recently, you probably have a ton of questions. This is particularly the case if your loss was due to the negligence of another party. Of course, one of these questions is likely along the lines of “Does my loss qualify as a type of wrongful death that entitles me to compensation?” The death of a loved one can cause tremendous losses, so understanding the varying types of wrongful death can prove key to a potential claim.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is difficult to define since it’s a legal concept that varies by jurisdiction. In Delaware, wrongful death is defined as any fatality stemming from an act that would have entitled the victim to personal injury damages had they survived.
Obviously, this means there are a massive amount of potential wrongful death types. That’s because any act of negligence, maliciousness, criminal activity, or other wrongful act can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. Still, certain wrongful death types are seen more often than others.
What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Death Cases?
Creating an exhaustive list of wrongful death types would be a tall order. In fact, it may be impossible since new potential acts of negligence can arise with developments in technology, work procedures, and other seeming advancements. However, the following are the most common types we see at our law firm.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Around 40,000 people die in auto accidents every year in America. Many of these incidents are due to negligent drivers, unmaintained roads, drunk driving, and tractor-trailer equipment failures.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians and bicyclists are at heightened risk on the roads due to a lack of protection and reduced visibility of other commuters. This is becoming a major issue. For instance, Delaware bicyclist and pedestrian deaths doubled over the past decade.
Medical errors are a serious issue that can lead to significant injuries. We can likely expect to see medical malpractice lawsuits increase since some studies have found that such errors are a leading cause of death in America.
Overdoses and Accidental Poisoning
While an overdose may not sound like a wrongful death on the surface, fentanyl-laced drugs are becoming a major public health concern. In some instances, the dealer or manufacturer may be held liable. An individual may also experience accidental poisoning due to oversights, maliciousness, or negligence.
Boating and On-the-Water Accidents
Anywhere that has beaches, lakes, and even ponds create a risk of on-the-water injuries and deaths. For instance, Delaware Beaches are a sort of mecca to individuals throughout the northeast, but there are always dangers inherent to the water.
Product Liability Injuries
When a product causes significant injury or death, it’s sometimes because the item is faulty. In other instances, its design may be inherently dangerous. Either way, product liability cases can result in Delaware wrongful death claims.
Work-Related Injuries and Conditions
Millions of Americans suffer work-related injuries every year. Sadly, some of these injuries are serious enough to prove fatal. Workers’ compensation often provides benefits to surviving loved ones, but it’s also possible that a lawsuit may offer additional recovery.
Premises Liability Accidents
When a property owner or occupier doesn’t maintain their premises properly, it can create hazards that lead to accidents and death. Such incidents could range from exposed wiring to unmaintained tree branches.
What Should You Do After Losing a Loved One to Wrongful Death?
If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful acts of another person — or if you have suspicions that wrongful acts may have occurred — contacting a Delaware personal injury lawyer may be the most important thing you do. They can help you understand whether you have a valid claim, deal with the insurance company, and take your case to trial if necessary. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation and let us help you better understand your rights.