Usually, after receiving an injury due to the negligence of another person, the victim will file a claim to receive compensation to pay for their medical treatment. Apart from getting their medical expenses covered, a personal injury lawsuit can also teach a lesson to the individual to blame for the incidence, even if their actions were not intentional.
However, there are personal injury cases that extend far past the need for stitches, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, or even psychological therapy, some of which instead require a burial and funeral. The latter type of personal injury case is referred to as wrongful death.
Here are four facts about wrongful death that you probably didn’t know:
1. About 90,000 people die each year due to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice due to the carelessness, lack of expertise, or intentional inappropriate action of a medical professional alone can leave thousands lifeless each year in the United States.
These cases may involve abusing of anesthesia, prescribing a wrong medication or a wrong dosage of such, performing a surgery incorrectly, giving a wrong diagnosis, mishandling a newborn after birth, providing improper care after a procedure, and so on.
2. In 2005, there were 19,656 slip-and-fall fatalities.
Many may consider slip and falls to be inevitable. However, homes, commercial buildings, and the exterior of properties may pose specific hazards that could have otherwise been avoided.
For instance, slippery stairs, a lifted sidewalk, poorly-lit pathways, stairways without rails, lack of or non-visible caution signs may result in a slip-and-fall fatality, and thus, may be considered wrongful death.
3. Workplace mishaps caused 5,840 known wrongful deaths in 2006 alone.
Even in the workplace, one is not always safe. Some jobs pose more danger than others, especially if risky equipment is used, if the tasks of the employees are deemed dangerous, or if the facility is not kept in an orderly condition.
Regardless of the reason, wrongful deaths can happen at any place of work. In 2006, 827 wrongful deaths were a result of slip-and-falls while at work, almost 1,000 deaths at work were from contact with equipment, and as the leading cause of wrongful death at work are traffic-related incidences which accounted for over 2,400 deaths in 2006.
4. Most states only allow the estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit one to three years after the death of a loved one.
Two of the big questions that arise in personal injury cases include, “Who is legally able to file a lawsuit on the deceased victim’s behalf?” and “How long are they able to file a lawsuit?”
Although wrongful death leaves the victim unable to get legal help on their own, the estate of the deceased individual is able to resort to filing a lawsuit if they wish. This might include family members such as children, a husband or wife, or even a domestic partner.
The statutes for filing a wrongful death lawsuit varies. While murder usually doesn’t have a statute, most states only allow one to three years to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Some statue extensions may exist in certain cases of wrongful death, like, for instance, if the suspect tried to hide the body of their deceased victim.
Even though a victim in a wrongful death case is no longer living, legal action is still vital. Via a wrongful death lawsuit, one may be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, burial, and funeral costs, and the like on behalf of the deceased. Additionally, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can safeguard that the suspect learns their lesson.