Deaths are unimaginably hard for the families involved, but they can be even more heartbreaking when they are caused by someone's carelessness.
Wrongful death occurs when a person's demise is caused by the negligence of another individual or entity.
They can be caused by countless factors and situations. The following are ten of the most common types of wrongful death cases.
1. Car Accidents
There are over 16 million drivers in Florida, and the state averages hundreds of car crashes every day. These accidents lead to thousands of fatalities annually. Most car accident fatalities are the consequence of at least one driver's negligence, whether due to reckless driving, speeding, not paying attention to the road, or driving under the influence.
The driver can be held liable for the death of anyone involved in the accident, including other drivers and passengers. There are also situations in which a car accident took place, and neither driver was negligent, although these are rare.
2. Medical Malpractice
According to the Florida Department of Health, a total of 1,727 medical malpractice claims were filed in the state in 2021. The vast majority of physicians and nurses are highly skilled, but they are still human, and mistakes happen. These errors can occur when medical personnel cut corners, fail to follow the correct procedures, or just miss something.
When it comes to medical malpractice, the most frequent wrongful death causes are misdiagnosis of a health condition or failure to diagnose a health problem. Errors during surgery and while treating conditions are also common causes of wrongful deaths in the medical field.
3. Accidents at Work
Fatal work injuries totaled 315 in Florida in 2021. Occupations with greater risk, such as dangerous manual labor and jobs in the construction industry, have a higher instance of workplace fatalities, but a wrongful death can take place at the office or even outside work if the employer puts the employee in a dangerous situation.
A notable example of the latter situation is a nurse who has to work multiple 12-hour shifts and subsequently ends up in a fatal car accident while returning home due to exhaustion. If you work in the construction, agriculture, or fishing industries, you are at a greater risk for severe injuries if a workplace accident occurs.
4. Motorcycle Accidents
In 2023, so far, 4,164 motorcycle accidents resulted in 240 fatalities in the Sunshine State. Motorcycle accidents are more deadly than car accidents due to the rider's vulnerability in comparison to enclosed vehicles and larger vehicles.
In fact, motorcyclists are roughly 24 times more likely than drivers or passengers in vehicles to die in a crash. Alcohol impairment, speeding, and reckless driving are some common factors in motorcycle accidents. Deaths often result from riders sustaining catastrophic head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, even when wearing helmets.
5. Swimming Pool Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida ranked fifth in the U.S. for unintentional drowning deaths. Swimming pool accidents are a major cause of wrongful death, particularly for younger children. There are several factors that contribute to swimming pool accidents, including inadequate supervision and lack of fencing or barriers around pools.
In some cases, slippery or wet surfaces cause slip-and-fall accidents, resulting in serious injuries like head trauma, which can be fatal. Defective pool equipment, diving in shallow water, and inadequate warning signs have also contributed to deaths.
6. Amusement Park Accidents
On average, there are thousands of amusement park and theme park accidents in Florida every year. A study by the National Safety Council found that there were 130 serious theme park accidents in 2021. Amusement park rides can result in death due to mechanical failure, operator error, and many other factors. Other injuries from amusement park rides are brain aneurysms from fast rides or roller coasters, traumatic brain injuries from rapid ride speeds or accelerations, and stroke from neck ligament trauma.
Fatal amusement park accidents are a tragic reality that can serve as important lessons for the industry. In spite of strict safety regulations, these devastating events still occur and have lasting impacts on those involved.
7. Defective Products
If someone dies because of a defective product, the manufacturer of the product is held responsible. Product liability is one of the reasons why manufacturers spend so much time and money testing products and making sure they are safe. Some of the most common examples of this kind of wrongful death are toxic foods, unsafe products for children, and defective automobiles.
Tragically, a lot of children are killed by defective products such as toys or other devices that present choking hazards. People use products throughout their daily lives, often without a second thought. Although many assume the devices they use will operate effectively and safely, some products suffer from issues that render them unsuitable for use.
8. Semi-Truck Accidents
Florida had the third-most truck accidents in 2022 compared to other states nationwide. Some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents are fatigue, driving under the influence, and many others. While still considered automobile accidents, semi-truck accidents occupy a category of their own because of several key differences. Firstly, semi-trucks are much larger than other vehicles, which means they are more likely to cause death in the case of a crash.
The most frequent causes of semi-truck accidents are also different, as these crashes tend to be the result of mechanical issues with the truck, driving with an oversized load, and driver mistakes such as aggressive driving, losing control of the semi-truck, or driving when fatigued.
9. Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Sunshine State is one of the deadliest for pedestrian accidents. In recent years, nearly 9,500 pedestrian crashes occurred. Approximately 7,300 people were injured, while over 800 were killed. Car accidents involving pedestrians are much more likely to cause fatalities, as pedestrians do not have any protection.
Driver negligence is perhaps the most common cause of these accidents, even though the city or county may be liable in situations where the driver could not see the pedestrian due to a lack of visible pedestrian walkways.
10. Aviation Accidents
Despite a decline in plane crashes in the last 10 years, there are still dozens of aviation accidents in Florida every year. On August 4, 2023, a small plane narrowly missed a Volusia County home when it came tumbling down from the sky. Florida officials said the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Spruce Creek Fly airport. It was headed to the DeLand airport when it started experiencing engine trouble, causing it to crash in the front yard of a home on Guava Drive in Port Orange.
Aviation accidents are rare, but when they occur, they usually result in a large number of fatalities. The most common causes of these accidents are mechanical issues and pilot errors.
File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit with the Expert Assistance of The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary
In the devastating situation that you lost a family member due to the negligence of another individual or entity, we advise you to get in touch with The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary. With over 20 years of professional experience, our attorney can efficiently help you file your wrongful death lawsuit and recover the damages you deserve for your suffering. No matter how complex your case is, we will go to great lengths to obtain the most favorable outcome for you and your family.