Wrongful death is when a person dies or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another. One example is O.J. Simpson. Even though O.J. was found not guilty in 1994 of the murder of his former wife and her friend, he was later found liable in a civil wrongful death suit because the plaintiffs managed to prove he was responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.
Here are more examples illustrating when it is time to call a wrongful death attorney.
1. A Company-Caused Death
Bernie Laughton spent 27 years working in the steel mills of Pennsylvania. He understood safety procedures and was never written up for failing to follow them. Bernie was killed when the safety harness holding him 20 feet off the factory floor snapped. The company could call the broken harness “an unfortunate mistake,” but it ultimately held the responsibility for providing its employees with safe equipment.
2. Medical Negligence
Maxine Snell shopped at the same pharmacy for years, picking up her monthly supply of medications on the first Wednesday of the month. It was not until Maxine’s body was autopsied following her sudden death that her family learned that the pharmacy had given Maxine a dangerously high dose of blood thinner.
3. Car Accidents
Karen Allen was driving home from a friend’s bachelorette party early one Saturday morning when a truck coming toward her crossed the median and hit Karen head-on, killing her instantly.
4. At-Home Accidents
Bob and Lisa Dugger were consummate hosts, famous for their backyard barbecues. Dave Taylor, a neighbor and friend of the Duggers, choked on a hotdog while arm wrestling another party guest. He was declared dead on the way to the hospital.
5. Public Places
Arnie Taylor was a lifelong baseball fan, and she would catch a game wherever and whenever possible. At a local community college game, Arnie caught a foul ball to the face. Hours later, when his speech began to slur, his wife became concerned and rushed him to the hospital for an evaluation. Arnie died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage the following day.
According to Nolo – the online legal encyclopedia – a wrongful death claim must be filed by a representative of the survivors who suffered damage from a decedent’s death. Filing suit against the party who caused the death of a loved one will not bring that person back, but it will hold the negligent party accountable, and it may bring a measure of closure.
If you have suffered the death of someone dear to you due to the negligent, careless or otherwise wrongful actions of another party, call us at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz at (626) 360-1105 for a free and compassionate consultation about your options for compensation and justice.