Wrongful death cases arise out of circumstances in which someone’s careless or reckless actions result in the loss of life. These can stem from traffic accidents, medical malpractice, defective products and other sources.
Circumstances Indicating Wrongful Death and Negligence
The circumstances surrounding a loved one’s death will factor into determining whether someone was at fault and whether claimants can pursue a wrongful death claim. Take fatal traffic accidents; after evidence has been assembled (such as eyewitness statements and a police report), investigators may conclude that the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash or had been texting on a cell phone.
Another example is when someone dies at the hands of a healthcare provider. When a loved one is hospitalized at the time of his/her death, it can be difficult to know if the person succumbed to his/her injuries (or illness) or if medical negligence was the cause.
For instance, if it’s determined that a loved one’s cancer would have been treatable had it been caught early, an indication of wrongful death could be learning the physician had misinterpreted test results. Or let’s say a loved one dies while undergoing a surgical procedure. Later it’s discovered the surgeon had nicked a vital organ. These could be indications of negligence.
In the case of a defective product, an indication of a wrongful death might be learning the product had been recalled. An example would be an infant who suffocates in a crib. If it’s discovered the crib had been recalled because of the risk of entrapment, this may help establish the manufacturer’s fault.
Initially it can appear that someone’s actions (such as incorrectly using a product) were the cause of death. But if an investigation finds that the design was flawed, this could put fault with the entity responsible for this part of the manufacturing process.
Talk to an Attorney to Discuss If a Wrongful Death Claim Is Viable
Some wrongful death and negligence cases are obvious. But even then, proving them can come with challenges. It is beneficial to seek legal counsel for these types of cases. If there is any suspicion that a loved one’s death was preventable, your attorney is tasked with finding out the truth.
Evidence largely depends on the circumstances and type of case, it might include:
· surveillance video of a traffic accident;
· blood test results of a driver suspected of DUI;
· expert medical testimony if medical negligence is suspected; or
· a product itself (if it was defective).
Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates to learn more about the viability of a particular case. Don’t delay as there is a limited timeframe in which a wrongful death claim can be filed. In New York, for example, families have two years from the time of death to file the claim. With the work it may take to look further into the situation, it’s best to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Call 800-246-4878 to set up a consultation with an attorney to go over your case.