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Common Types of Wrongful Death Accidents

Updated September 1, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

We have all seen or heard about tragic stories where one person’s carelessness results in the death of another person. Wrongful death is the basis for these lawsuits where someone dies because of the negligence or carelessness of another.

Five Common Types of Accidents

There are an incredible number of different personal injuries that have the potential to lead to death. Five are more common than others: automobile accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, premises liability, and workplace accidents.

Automobile Accidents

Automobile accidents—including both passenger cars and motorcycles—are among the leading causes of wrongful death cases. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 756 fatal crashes and 821 fatalities in the state of Indiana in 2015. Most automobile accidents could be prevented or reduced if drivers pay more attention.

If a victim was killed by a drunk driver, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death suit. Indiana’s vehicular manslaughter law allows the state to press criminal charges against the at-fault driver. An attorney can walk you through the details.

Medical Malpractice

Doctors make mistakes. If a medical professional made decisions that resulted in avoidable death, such as prescribing the wrong medication or misdiagnosing a condition, they could be held responsible for wrongful death.

Defective Products

Another common cause of wrongful death is when a defective product is sold to the end user and has the potential to cause personal injury. One example could be a machine at a manufacturing plant that was not equipped with the correct type of guard to keep the user safe. Without that guard, the machine worker may find themselves losing a limb, in critical condition, or even losing their life.

It’s possible that defective equipment or a lack of proper safety warnings could’ve played a part in your loved one’s death. In this case, consumer product or industrial machinery manufacturers could be sued for wrongful death.

Premises Liability

Every property owner is responsible for maintaining a safe place to live, work, and pass through. Owners can be responsible for wrongful death if their building’s construction wasn’t up to code or if things like burnt-out lights, shaky railings, or poorly constructed stairs were the cause of death.

Workplace Accidents

Accidents happen every day in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does a great job of combating wrongful death in the workplace. However, since October 2016, the Great Lakes Region of OSHA, which includes Indiana, saw over 100 fatalities of people going about their work.

One possibility for victims is pursuing workers’ compensation. However, in a situation of wrongful death, a company could be sued for failing to provide proper safety protocols.

Indiana Statute of Limitations

Indiana’s wrongful death statute includes a statute of limitations, specifically that a victim’s family has two years to file a wrongful death claim. After that time period has passed, it is difficult to move forward with a claim. An attorney familiar with wrongful death laws can help you navigate this statute.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If your loved one has died as a result of negligence, you are urged to contact an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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