When a person dies because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, it is generally a wrongful death. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of future earnings and benefits, loss of care and companionship, emotional pain and suffering, and other general and punitive damages. If your loved one died in a car crash or other type of accident, or died because of medical malpractice, an experienced Orlando injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people ages five to 34 in the U.S. In 2010 alone, there were 32,885 traffic fatalities nationwide, 31 percent of which involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above. When any of the following factors contribute to a fatal car accident, the victim’s family may have a wrongful death case:
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Reckless driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Driving while distracted or tired
- Lack of truck driver training or qualifications
- Auto part defects
Medical Malpractice Fatalities
According to the American Association for Justice, hundreds of thousands of Americans sustain serious injuries or die because of preventable medical mistakes every year. In fact, a study by HealthGrades, Inc. involving 37 million patient records revealed that an average of 195,000 people died in the U.S. each year from 2000 to 2002 due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Vaccine injuries
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Bad blood transfusions
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Emergency room negligence, including failure to take a complete medical history or perform a proper physical exam, failure to monitor a patient, or failure to perform necessary tests
- Surgical errors, such as leaving a medical instrument inside a patient, operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient, or accidental organ puncture
- Birth injuries caused by factors like failing to anticipate complications, improperly monitoring fetal heart rate, failing to respond to fetal distress, ordering a cesarean section too late or not at all, or misusing a vacuum extractor or forceps
If a medical mistake led to your loved one’s death, contact a knowledgeable Orlando injury attorney today.
Other Accidents Involving Wrongful Death
While many wrongful death claims involve auto accidents or medical errors, others arise from:
- Theme park accidents
- Tourist injuries
- Boating or diving accidents
- Brain injuries
- Airplane accidents
- Animal attacks
When a person dies because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, an Orlando injury lawyer helps the victim’s family seek justice on behalf of their loved one.