Written by attorney Michael Grossman

What Makes a Fatal Accident a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against any person or party whose negligence causes or contributes to the loss of a loved one. Through such a lawsuit, a bereaved family can seek compensation for the financial losses they have incurred as a result of their loss, in addition to seeking justice against those whose negligent behavior has claimed the life of their family member. In fatal accidents where criminal charges are not filed against a liable party, which can often be the case in connection to an accidental death, a wrongful death lawsuit is the only legal remedy for an affected family to seek justice for their loss. When a family suddenly loses a loved one due to an untimely fatal accident, they may not know what their legal options are, of if any legal action can be taken at all. The following short article provides examples of common causes of wrongful death, in addition to the legal next steps that an aggrieved family can take if they’ve had the misfortune to lose a loved one because of a fatal accident.

  • Auto accidents can result in a wrongful death. A distracted driver that does not mean to cause a wreck can still be held civilly liable for the results of their negligent behavior, even if such a result is a fatal auto accident.
  • >Drunk driving accidents can often result in a wrongful death, in which a drunk driver can be held liable for the fatality. Additionally, most states also have dram shop laws that work to hold negligent bars and restaurants partially liable for fatal drunk driving accidents that may have occurred due to an intoxicated patron causing a drunk driving wreck.
  • Workplace accidents can result in a wrongful death. Such fatal work accidents can occur in a vast array of ways, especially on construction sites, in industrial zones, at chemical plants, or at other job sites that are considered to be hazardous or dangerous. When a wrongful death occurs to an employee, an employer may bear liability for the accident, depending on the specifics of the work accident.
  • Premises liability can also lead to a wrongful death when a visitor to a property suffers a fatal accident due to a property owner’s negligence or failure to warn a visitor of a possible hazardous situation.
  • Negligent supervision, sometimes known as negligent entrustment, can lead to child fatal accidents when a supervising adult fails to properly provide for the safety of a child in their care.
  • Medical malpractice can lead to a wrongful death when a medical professional fails to live up to their peers’ standard of care and causes harm to a patient resulting in that patient’s death.
  • Criminal attacks like murder, manslaughter, or assault can also cause a wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against a liable party, even if criminal charges are also brought against that party.
  • Defective products can also lead to a wrongful death when an unsafe product is allowed to be used by the general public and such a product contributes to or causes a fatal accident.

In essence, a wrongful death can happen in a wide variety of ways due to a wide variety of reasons. Regardless of whether or not a negligent party intended to cause harm to your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against that party in most situations. If you have lost a loved one due to an accident, or due to suspected negligent behavior by another person or entity, consider contacting a Dallas wrongful death attorney to learn more about your legal options. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, an aggrieved family can seek compensation both for their loved one’s pain and suffering and medical bills prior to their passing, as well as funeral expenses and costs related to the family members’ own pain and suffering as a result of their loss. Additionally, such civil action works to bring the liable parties to justice so that they can be held accountable for their negligent behavior in the hopes that future negligent behavior will not cause further loss of life or grief.

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