Pursuing compensation after a loved one has passed under questionable circumstances can be an emotionally taxing and legally challenging process. If you're wondering what the folks at a wrongful death attorney services practice might think of your case, it may be helpful to consider these four examples of commonly pursued claims.
Motor Vehicle Incidents
Accidents involving motor vehicles claim thousands of lives each year in America. Not all fatal accidents, though, are equal in terms of liability.
In particular, a wrongful death attorney will look at cases where someone failed to take appropriate precautions. For example, a trucking company that failed to do a background check on a driver might be found liable if the trucker plowed into a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. The resulting deaths may be deemed wrongful because appropriate measures weren't taken to ensure a dangerous driver wasn't being put on the road.
Liability for Premises
Poorly maintained properties pose potentially fatal risks to the public. For example, a multistory building may have a stairway that includes a handrail near a long drop. If the handrail becomes loose and there is evidence the owner or their designees ignored the problem, that might form the basis of a wrongful death case.
When a medical professional's actions are negligent or reckless and lead to the death of a person in their care, that can be a form of wrongful death. A doctor who chooses to use an outdated procedure rather than a safer and more modern one, for example, might take on liability for a patient dying during an outmoded surgery. Similar issues can arise from prescribing too much of a potentially dangerous drug, such as a strong narcotic.
Homicides and Manslaughters
The pursuit of justice in cases where deliberate or accidental killings have occurred does not stop in the criminal justice system. If a murder or manslaughter happened, survivors do have the right to seek compensation. A common example is an officer-involved shooting. When a police officer fails to follow procedure and takes actions leading to a death, there is the possibility the death will be seen as wrongful.
Although it is often beneficial to wait for a criminal verdict to come down, the criminal case does not preclude a separate civil action from moving forward. Even the fact that a not-guilty verdict was declared does not prevent a wrongful death case from advancing.