Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wave Image

Wrongful death claims arise when a person loses their life due to the negligent actions or misconduct of another individual or entity. These claims arise in a wide variety of ways, and they can allow family members and the estate of the deceased to recover compensation for their loss. Here, we want to examine more closely the definition of “wrongful death” as well as some of the most common causes of these claims in California.

How Does California Define Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death claims arise if one person loses their life due to the misconduct of another individual or entity. These incidents are different from accidental death claims. In order for plaintiffs in a wrongful death case to be successful, they must show that the alleged at-fault party’s and negligent or intentional actions caused the death in question.

Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims arise in a wide variety of ways throughout California. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Vehicle Accidents

The data from the California Office of Traffic Safety indicates that there were 3,847 total fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents during the most recent year of data on file. These incidents occur due to a wide variety of reasons, including impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving, and more. Vehicle accident fatality data includes not only incidents involving passenger vehicles but also those involving the following:

Intentional Acts of Violence

Intentional acts of violence are also a leading cause of wrongful death claims. This can include incidents such as violent assaults, stabbing, gunshots, and more. When an intentional act of violence takes a life, the alleged perpetrator typically gets arrested and charged by prosecutors. However, family members or the estate of the deceased can also file a civil wrongful death claim against the alleged perpetrator.

Even if a person is found not guilty of causing the death, or if they are not charged at all, family members can still file a civil wrongful death claim. These are two separate actions.

Property Owner Negligence

The property owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their premises if others have a right to enter. This duty of care extends to private property owners, such as homeowners, as well as those who operate commercial establishments, such as banks, grocery stores, and retail establishments. Property owners are tasked with ensuring there are no hazards that could cause harm to those who have a right to enter the premises or at least with providing adequate warning about potential hazards if the issue cannot be immediately remedied. Failing to do so could result in guests on any premises sustaining significant or life-threatening injuries.

Defective Products

Information provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are around 23,000 deaths caused by consumer product-related injuries each year across the country. These deaths are caused by a wide range of product flaws, and these defects can affect toys, appliances, electronics, vehicles, medications, foods and beverages, cleaning products, makeup, hair relaxers or straighteners, and more.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost somebody you love due to the negligent actions of another individual or entity in California, you need to seek legal assistance immediately. A wrongful death lawyer in Long Beach can offer a free consultation and help guide you toward the path most likely to secure compensation for your family and the estate of your loved one.