A wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another. While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how many people die each year from a wrongful death, the number is likely high.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 170,000 people died of unintentional injuries in the United States in 2017 alone. Medical malpractice, which can lead to wrongful death, is now the third-leading cause of death in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Wrongful death can devastate a family emotionally as well as financially. If you believe that your loved one suffered a wrongful death due to another person’s negligence or a company’s negligent actions, a Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer can help determine if you have a case. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today (800) 593-3443 to speak with a member of our team.
Examples of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can happen in a variety of circumstances, including:
Medical malpractice may be one of the most common wrongful death causes. Johns Hopkins University researchers estimate more than 250,000 deaths each year due to medical errors, while other sources claim the number may be as high as 440,000.
Car accidents can lead to wrongful death due to the negligent actions of a driver such as driving under the influence, distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield. A manufacturing defect on a vehicle can also result in a wrongful death lawsuit in some circumstances.
Intentional Injury or Killing
If someone intentionally injured your loved one and they later died, or if someone intentionally killed your loved one, you could have a wrongful death case against them.
Recently, police brutality has come under intense scrutiny. According to a study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), police violence is a leading cause of death for young men across the country. When a police officer uses unjustified lethal force, you could potentially have a wrongful death claim against the state of Utah.
If your loved one slipped and fell or was injured another way and then died due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you could have a wrongful death case. You may also have a claim if your loved one was harmed in an attack or robbery on someone else’s property due to inadequate security.
If your loved one was injured and died in a work accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, you could also potentially have a wrongful death claim if their employer was grossly negligent or a third party caused your loved one’s death.
You could potentially hold a manufacturer accountable if your loved one died due to a defective product. Defective product cases can cover a wide spectrum, including defective medications, medical devices, household appliances, car parts, toys, and many other types of products.
Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
One of the most egregious crimes is abuse or neglect of our senior citizens in nursing homes. If your loved one died due to abuse or neglect in a care facility, you could potentially file a wrongful lawsuit and recover damages.
Boating and Aviation Accidents
While boating and aviation accidents are much rarer than car accidents, they do occur. If your loved one died due to the negligence of a plane or boat owner or operator, or some sort of manufacturing defect, you potentially have a wrongful death claim.
This list is not exhaustive and there can be many other instances of wrongful death cases. The best way to find out if you have a claim is to contact a Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can assess your claim and advise you on your next steps. Call the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to get started.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Salt Lake City, call (800) 593-3443
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Utah
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally restricted to close relatives of the deceased or a representative of the estate. According to Utah Code §78B-3-105, the following persons can potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit in Utah:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Any children (biological or adopted)
- Parents of the deceased (biological or adoptive)
- More distant relatives if there are no other survivors
When there are several people who could file a wrongful death lawsuit—for example, multiple children—they can only file one lawsuit on behalf of all heirs.
The laws dealing with wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated. Before initiating action, speak to a Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer to help protect your rights.
Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (800) 593-3443
Types of Compensation
Surviving relatives can potentially recover many different types of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. This compensation will likely depend on several factors, including the amount of the decedent’s income and benefits.
Generally, the following types of compensation may be available to you in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Medical costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship (for spouse)
- Loss of income and benefits
- Mental pain and suffering of the survivors
- Loss of parental guidance for minor children
You could potentially receive other types of compensation, depending on the specifics of your claim. In some cases, a defendant may also have to pay punitive damages if they acted particularly recklessly in causing the death of your loved one.
Contact a Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is always tragic, no matter what the circumstances may be. However, when someone else caused your loved one’s death due to their negligent or reckless behavior, you could have legal recourse and hold them accountable for damages.
When you are grieving a loss in the family, your last thought may be initiating a lawsuit and potentially adding more stress during such a difficult time. Thankfully, you do not have to do this on your own. A Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can take charge of all aspects of your claim, including gathering the necessary evidence to prove your case and negotiating with the at-fault party and insurance companies. If necessary, we can also take your case to trial.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC works on a “no win, no fee” basis, so you have nothing to lose. Contact us today at (800) 593-3443 for a free consultation with a member of our team.