Wrongful Death Causes: What Are They?

family mourning the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death
Losses caused by negligence are especially tragic if they could have been prevented. Family members face grief, depression, anger, denial, guilt and other emotions when dealing with their loss.

What Are the Most Common Wrongful Death Causes?

Family members want to know why their loved one died. So do we. We know how losing a loved one is devastating, regardless of where and how it happens. Yet, in order for the family to find closure, the reason for the wrongful death claim must be addressed.

The Tragedy of Losing a Loved One

Losses caused by negligence are especially tragic if they could have been prevented. Family members face grief, depression, anger, denial, guilt and other emotions when dealing with their loss. No amount of money can dispel these emotions. By filing a wrongful death claim, it can give the family the ability to deal with their loss without financial worries. 

How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney seeks compensation for the family’s loss on behalf of the deceased. Furthermore, they may hold the party at fault liable for their negligent acts. A compassionate injury attorney can help you recover the damages your family deserves if you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death claim.

Common Wrongful Death Causes

An unjustifiable death occurs when a decedent dies due to the negligence of another person or entity. Some of the major wrongful death causes are as follows:

  • Medical malpractice: Hospital staff, physicians and pharmacists can be held accountable if they misdiagnose or prescribe/deliver an incorrect treatment to a patient.
  • Traffic accidents: Traffic accidents account for the greatest number of wrongful death lawsuits. It can happen to someone while driving a motor vehicle, riding a motorcycle, operating a truck or walking or bicycling. These incidents are often caused by drivers running red lights, being intoxicated or driving distracted. Negligence of this type shows a lack of responsibility toward others, and those who cause the fatality can be held accountable for it.
  • Defective products: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that thousands of people die every year as a result of defective products. Automobile parts, toys and furniture can all be dangerous, and contaminated foods also cause deaths.
  • Government claims: Government agencies are in charge of maintaining the roads and public spaces like parks and buildings. A person’s family may seek damages if they die as a result of negligent maintenance, road design or any other reason.
  • Accidents at work: Most workplace accidents are covered by workers’ compensation, including death benefits. It is possible for the family to file a wrongful death suit if a third party was involved in the fatality. Slips and falls are the most common type of work accident.
  • Common carriers, such as taxi drivers, buses, Uber, Lyft and others may be held liable for fatal accidents caused by their negligence. Common carriers maintain higher limits on their insurance policies. 

What Compensation Can Be Obtained Following a Wrongful Death?

When a wrongful death occurs, family members may seek financial compensation. In addition to the surviving spouse, children and other individuals who received at least 50 percent of their support from the deceased can file a claim. The types of compensation include:

  • Costs associated with end-of-life duties such as burial and funeral expenses
  • Companionship, comfort, moral support and affection that are lost
  • The decedent’s pension and insurance that will no longer be available to support his/her family
  • The loss of household services provided by the decedent, such as lawn maintenance and childcare
  • Lack of training, guidance and care for children
  • Issuance of inheritance
  • Family members may be able to claim punitive damages if the death was egregious or intentional. If a decedent lives for a period of time before dying, this is called a survival action.

The Roeser Law Firm: Helping Families After a Loss

If your family lost a loved one to wrongful death, contact the Roeser Law Firm. We offer compassionate service as we fight for your rights. Call us at (202) 660-4070, or contact us online for a free case evaluation. 

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070