Preventing Wrongful Deaths

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In a perfect world, accidents and tragedies would never happen, but we live in a reality where unfortunate events occur.

Still, many wrongful deaths can be prevented by addressing negligence.

In Florida, negligence plays a crucial role in understanding how certain actions or inactions can lead to devastating consequences. These are only some reasons why wrongful deaths happen and how to prevent these deaths under specific circumstances.

Car Accidents

Every year, thousands of Floridians are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle collisions. Many people rely on their cars to drive to and from work, complete errands, or go on vacation daily in Florida. With so many individuals sharing the roads, it is understandable why the risk of accident involvement exists. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to obey traffic rules and cause accidents by engaging in these types of behavior, which should be avoided:

  • speeding
  • tailgating
  • running traffic lights
  • drunk driving
  • drugged driving
  • distracted driving
  • inattentive driving
  • drowsy driving
  • aggressive driving
  • wrong-way driving

All drivers have a legal duty to drive responsibly to avoid fatal accidents. When a motorist engages in negligent driving and causes a deadly accident, a wrongful death claim can arise. In this scenario, the driver who engaged in negligence could be sued for wrongful death. The driver's insurance company would be responsible for paying damages for the benefit of the surviving spouse, parent, and child of the victim who was killed.

Gun Deaths

Preventable shootings have increasingly become a very alarming problem in Florida and nationwide. Shootings can be accidental or intentional and could form the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit in the following types of incidents, which should be avoided:

  • mishandling a gun and accidentally shooting someone
  • leaving guns out where children can access them
  • providing an unstable person with a gun who then shoots others
  • intentional killings or homicides

In these situations, the victim's family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, and at the same time, a criminal case against the defendant is pending. Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, although criminal charges are also pending against the defendant, increases the chances of the surviving family members to hold the defendant responsible. Wrongful death lawsuits have a lower required burden of proof, which means it might be possible to hold a defendant accountable in a civil lawsuit even if they are not found guilty in a criminal case.

Motorcycle Accidents

Many people enjoy riding on motorcycles because of the sense of freedom they get from feeling the air rushing past them and taking in the scenery. Even though motorcycles are common on the streets, highways, and interstates in Florida, their smaller profiles make them more difficult for other motorists to see. Motorcyclists are also largely unprotected from the physical forces released in collisions, and they have a significantly greater risk of dying in accidents than the occupants of other types of motor vehicles. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle deaths that can be avoided include:

  • inattentive driving and failing to see an oncoming motorcyclist when turning left onto a highway
  • failing to check for motorcycles before opening a car door while parked along the side of a street
  • crashing into an oncoming motorcyclist while unsafely passing on a two-lane highway
  • failing to check blind spots prior to switching lanes and colliding with a motorcyclist next to the vehicle
  • rear-end motorcycle collisions while following too closely
  • running a red light and crashing into a motorcyclist traveling through the intersection
  • traveling at unsafe speeds and colliding with a motorcycle

Semi-Truck Crashes

Truck drivers must undergo specialized training to obtain their driver's licenses before they can legally operate large trucks. Our country relies on semi-trucks to deliver goods to stores and individuals, including in Florida. Truck drivers are under time pressure to deliver goods on time and might sometimes cut corners to meet their delivery schedules, which might cause accidents. Furthermore, semi-trucks are considerably more difficult to operate than other vehicles because of their larger sizes and weights. They require greater stopping distances and are harder to turn or drive in inclement weather. Fatal truck accidents can form the basis of wrongful death lawsuits in the following situations, which can and should be avoided:

  • inattentive driving
  • drowsy driving
  • speeding
  • driving while impaired
  • improper loading and securement
  • failure to properly maintain a truck
  • violating the hours of service rules

Medical Malpractice

While most healthcare professionals are competent and provide quality care, some fail to do so. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is far more common than most people realize. In fact, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the country. Many different medical errors can cause death and lead to wrongful death lawsuits, including the following, which, in most cases, can be avoided:

  • anesthesia errors
  • drug errors
  • birth injuries
  • misdiagnosis
  • delayed diagnosis
  • failure to diagnose
  • failure to treat
  • failure to obtain informed consent
  • failure to review a patient's medical records

Aviation Accidents

While aviation accidents are rare, they can have tragic consequences when they occur. Both private and commercial pilots can be involved in aviation accidents, resulting in the deaths of multiple passengers and people on the ground. Some of the incidents that might result in a wrongful death lawsuit following an aviation accident include:

  • inadequately trained pilot or flight staff
  • failure of the maintenance staff to repair issues
  • failure to inspect
  • pilot errors
  • air traffic controller errors
  • taking risks while flying
  • mechanical failures
  • defective plane components

Workplace Accidents

Dangerous work conditions can result in fatal accidents. Some businesses fail to provide adequate safety gear or to comply with the safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When workers die in a workplace accident, their families can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages and replace a portion of the income their loved one would have earned had they lived.

Construction site accidents are common workplace accidents that might result in deaths. In a construction accident, the surviving family members might be able to pursue both a workers' compensation claim with the employer and a third-party claim against a negligent party that was not employed by the victim's employer. When an employee of a different subcontractor negligently causes a workplace accident, the victim's family might have the right to file both a workers' compensation claim and a wrongful death lawsuit.

Defective Products

Defective products can severely injure or kill people who use them as intended. Products might contain manufacturing defects, design defects, or defective warnings. If someone dies because of a defective product, their family members might have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Some examples of potentially dangerous product defects manufacturers should pay attention to that could lead to wrongful death lawsuits include:

Premises Liability

Property owners and operators in Florida must promptly correct known hazards and maintain their property in a safe condition to prevent others from suffering injuries or death. They owe this legal duty to those who are present on their property as social guests or as lawfully present visitors for business purposes. Some examples of dangerous conditions that could give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit and that property owners should take care of include the following:

  • failure to maintain stairs and leaving broken railings or steps
  • improper lighting in stairwells
  • failing to provide security in parking lots
  • allowing ice to accumulate on stairs and sidewalks
  • failing to replace torn carpets
  • failing to clean up spills
  • failing to correct structural issues in a building, leading to collapse
  • debris falling from a poorly maintained building

The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Will Offer You Quality Legal Assistance in Wrongful Death Cases

In the devastating situation that you lost a family member to the negligence of someone else, we advise you to get in touch with The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, as our attorney has over 20 years of experience in handling wrongful death lawsuits. He will provide you with the legal assistance you need to file your wrongful death lawsuit and obtain the most favorable outcome for your case. While money cannot bring a loved one back, it can at least alleviate some of the financial hardship their family experiences.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.