Wrongful death is a term used to describe a person’s death as a result of another person’s reckless, negligent, or intentional actions. Families who find themselves dealing with this kind of tragedy may have questions about accountability and the consequences that may result from deliberate harm or carelessness. You may be wondering who can be held accountable in a wrongful death case and the essential question, “What are examples of wrongful death?”

Common Examples of Wrongful Death

There are various circumstances where a wrongful death can occur and can be accredited to several causes. Many of these situations can often involve recklessness, negligence, or intentional acts that lead to someone’s death. These are some common examples of wrongful death cases:

Medical Malpractice

Many wrongful death cases can be ascribed to medical malpractice. Medical providers have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain a reasonable standard of care when they treat patients. Malpractice happens when a medical professional, such as a nurse or doctor, or a medical institution, such as a hospital, fails to provide that reasonable standard of care. This breach of duty due to negligence or carelessness can result in the injury or death of the patient.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful deaths. They typically happen due to the reckless or negligent actions of drivers, which may have been avoided if the drivers had taken proper care. There are several factors that can contribute to a fatal car accident:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Reckless driving
  • Defective vehicle

Workplace Accidents

Another very significant contributor to wrongful death cases is accidents that occur in the workplace. These incidents can happen in many settings and industries because of poor safety measures, third-party negligence, or unsafe working conditions. Workplace incidents that lead to wrongful deaths can be caused by slip and fall accidents, defective machinery, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and construction accidents, amongst other things.

Premises Liability

Premises liability refers to a property owner or manager’s legal responsibility to make sure their property is safe for tenants, visitors, or guests. Accidents can happen when certain hazardous conditions on the property are not properly taken care of. These accidents can often lead to severe injuries or the wrongful death of an individual.

Criminal Acts

Criminal acts are often rooted in reckless behavior or malicious intent. When an individual engages in an unlawful act, it can result in a wrongful death. In cases such as these, the offender’s conscious choice to partake in a harmful or dangerous act directly caused another person to lose their life.

Defective Products

Defective products are very risky for consumers. They can often cause serious injuries or even result in a wrongful death. Consumers should be confident that the product they are purchasing is safe. It is the legal obligation of retailers, manufacturers, and distributors to make sure the products they are producing and selling are safe for the public.

These are a few of the many examples of wrongful death cases. If you believe a loved one’s death was a result of the negligence or intentional act of another person, you should speak with a Long Beach wrongful death lawyer.

Who Can Be Held Accountable in a Wrongful Death Case?

In wrongful death cases, there are multiple parties that can potentially be held accountable for either intentional or negligent acts that caused someone to lose their life. Here are a few examples of people and entities that can be liable in a wrongful death case:

  • Individuals – This is anyone whose actions directly caused or contributed to the death, such as a negligent doctor, reckless driver, or attacker.
  • Property Owners – Owners of public, commercial, or residential properties are responsible for maintaining a property that is safe for others.
  • Employers – Employers are responsible for providing their employees with a safe work environment and providing proper safety training.
  • Corporations or Businesses – If a company’s policies or actions contributed to the incident that caused the wrongful death, the entire company can be held liable.

An experienced lawyer can help investigate the circumstances of your wrongful death case and identify all parties that can be held liable.


Q. What Is the Highest Wrongful Death Settlement?

A. There is no exact number for the highest wrongful death settlement because figures vary and change over time as new ones come up and are settled. There are some fairly notable wrongful death settlements within the country that have reached hundreds of millions of dollars. All wrongful death cases are unique and settlement amounts depend on many factors of a case.

Q. What Is an Example of Death by Negligence?

A. An example of death by negligence could involve a staff member in a nursing home failing to properly monitor a resident’s medication, resulting in an overdose and, ultimately, the death of the resident. In this situation, the staff member had a duty of care to make sure the elderly resident received their medication at the proper dosage but failed to do so. If this failure was due to not following proper protocol and procedures, the staff member may be guilty of negligence.

Q. How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Calculated?

A. Wrongful death settlements are calculated based on both economic and noneconomic damages the family of the deceased suffered as a result of the death. Oftentimes, factors that are considered when calculating a wrongful death settlement include funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, loss of financial support, and pain and suffering.

Q. What Are General Damages for Wrongful Death?

A. General damages for wrongful death are meant to compensate the victim’s family for intangible losses they suffered as a result of the death of their loved one. These are known as noneconomic damages and can include psychological trauma, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and emotional distress. The value of general damages varies on a case-by-case basis and can be influenced by the relationship one had with the deceased person.

Consult With a Skilled Attorney at McLachlan Law, APC

When you understand the context in which wrongful death can occur, you can determine liability with less difficulty and hold those responsible for the death accountable. It is important to consult with a lawyer who has experience with wrongful death cases to have your case assessed. Contact McLachlan Law, APC, today to schedule a consultation.