What Are the Common Causes of Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

The death of a loved one is never easy, but if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation and the death was caused by someone else’s reckless behavior, it is comforting to know that financial compensation could at least help you through this difficult time. This form of compensation usually comes about through a wrongful death lawsuit.

To be successful, you must be able to prove that the death occurred because of the other party’s negligence or intentional behavior. It must also be proven that the plaintiff was directly impacted by the death in both financial and emotional terms. 

Automobile Accident

Fatalities caused by car accidents are the most common cause of a wrongful death lawsuit, the most obvious being at the hands of a drunk driver. Lost income from the deceased, funeral expenses, medical or hospital bills, and monetary damages for pain and suffering can be part of the compensation package. 

In the case of the drunk driver, some states, like Florida, also have laws that hold bars and restaurants partly liable if they serve an intoxicated customer who then goes out to cause the accident.

Accidents at Work

Work accidents come in second as a possible reason for a wrongful death lawsuit. Workers in industry, construction sites, mines, plants that produce chemicals, or other hazardous work have more than their fair share of this type of litigation. In these cases, the actual company or even the employer may be held liable.

Property Owner Negligence 

Slip and fall accidents usually do not cause death but occasionally there are situations where it does happen, such as when someone receives a deadly blow to the head or dies in an accidental drowning. Both of these types of events would fit under a category of wrongful death lawsuit called premises liability. 

Negligent Entrustment

This type of wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when an adult that is supposed to be supervising a child fails to do so and the result is the death of the child. It may be committed by a school, daycare, friend, babysitter, or even a family member. These types of cases are particularly successful when the parent is paying for the child care service and expect a certain level of care. 


Medical malpractice claims often result from misdiagnoses, such as a cancer misdiagnosis, and also surgery that has gone wrong or other types of negligence. Healthcare providers generally have some level of legal protection already in place and occasionally these cases are difficult to prove, but there is some good news for plaintiffs. The state of California is proposing lifting a medical malpractice cap of $250,000 that has existed since 1975. The proposal will be voted on in 2022.

Commercial Products

Every year, thousands of people are killed by harmful or defective products. Some cases have been featured in news headlines. The product may be medication, baby powder, or an automobile with faulty airbags. If the product led to injury that lead to a death, and if it can be proven the manufacturer or company knew about the danger of using the product, the family may well have a solid base for a wrongful death lawsuit. 

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person, take heart. There is a legal process to compensate you for your loss. The grief your family has endured may be immeasurable in monetary terms but you can be provided with some measure of compensation by finding a caring, compassionate lawyer who will present your case. 

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