An estimated 170,000 people lost their lives in preventable accidents in the United States in 2017, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accident-related fatalities are the third-leading cause of death in America behind heart disease and cancer.
Accidents can occur in a wide variety of settings and in many ways. In many cases, you may be entitled to some form of compensation if the death of a loved was caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone who owed them a duty of care. To learn more about wrongful death cases or for assistance with handling one, please contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000. If you have grounds for filing a claim, our Long Island wrongful death lawyer may be able to help.
Examples of Wrongful Death
Here are a few examples of how an accident leading to wrongful death can occur.
- A hospital hires a doctor who does not have the skills, training, or experience to handle certain illnesses, and on-the-job medical mistakes cost someone their life.
- The owner or operator of a business, commercial property, or private property does not maintain his or her premises, and hazards, such as open electrical outlets, holes, road damage, or uneven or slippery surfaces, lead to a slip and fall fatality.
- A construction site owner or a construction company does not lock out dangerous electrical power, does not follow OSHA-mandated safety protocols, or fails to properly supervise a worksite, and a worksite death occurs.
- Someone causes a fatal vehicle accident because they drove while intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy, or drove recklessly by speeding or ignoring basic safe driving rules.
- A maintenance or service team—either for a vehicle, a worksite, or a patch of road—does not properly perform important vehicle fixes or road repairs, and someone has an accident as a result.
These are just a few examples of how accidents can lead to fatalities. From medical prescription errors and unsecured scaffolding to poor training of nursing home staff and product liability issues, accidental and negligent oversight can lead to a wrongful death case and can leave the family of the victim with significant bills, financial losses, and emotional turmoil.
The Leading Causes of Wrongful Deaths
Grappling with wrongful death statistics can be difficult unless you want to look at a specific cause of death, in part because accidents of all types are so common. Per the CDC, accidental poisoning is the leading cause of death for people aged 25 to 64, and motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of death for almost every age group above the age of one. Drownings are more common in young children than any other age group, and slips and falls kill more elderly people than any other type of accident.
However, slips and falls can also occur in workplaces, and they affect working-age adults as well, not just the elderly. In fact, falling accidents are one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “fatal four” leading causes of workplace deaths. The other three are electrocutions, getting caught in or in-between objects, and being struck by objects. However, other workplace accidents such as machine-related deaths, vehicle accidents, and chemical exposure can also lead to a workplace wrongful death.
You must understand how a wrongful death case occurred as well as where it occurred before filing a wrongful death lawsuit against any at-fault parties you hold responsible for the accident that led to the fatality in question. For example, a nursing home slip and fall is different from a workplace slip and fall, which is different from a public premises slip and fall.
The actions of employers, employees, drivers, maintenance crew, care staff, suppliers, and others when it comes to causing or contributing to a wrongful death case, as well as relevant laws, will all be considered when determining how a wrongful death case is to be handled. To learn more about this process, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000. If you qualify, our Long Island wrongful death lawyer will walk you through what you need to know.
Filing a Claim
To file a wrongful death claim, you must:
- Identify the at-fault party
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File a claim within the statutes of limitations
The at-fault party and the kinds of evidence needed to support your claim will depend on the type of wrongful death case at hand. For example, a fatality caused by a construction site accident may involve collecting evidence to prove negligence on the part of the worksite’s operator and the operator’s failure to implement OHSA safety standards. A nursing home fatality may involve an investigation into hiring practices and the types of training and experience that on-site care staff have.
Common forms of evidence that may be used in a wrongful death suit, based on the type of accident in question, include:
- Driver cell phone usage records, prescription drug usage, or blood alcohol levels
- Vehicle repair and maintenance logs
- Truck driver driving logs
- Doctor training records or experience certificates
- Police reports
- The testimony of accident eyewitnesses
- Dashcam recordings, surveillance footage, or CCTV footage
- Medical treatment records and related expenses
- Proof of lost income from pay stubs or salary slips
- The testimony of a medical expert about the extent of your injuries
- The testimony of an economics expert about your long-term financial losses
Contact Us Today
If you have lost a loved one, please accept our condolences. The Long Island wrongful death lawyer with Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. may be able to help you with your family’s wrongful death case. Please call us today at (631) 600-0000 to learn more about how we can collect evidence and identify the at-fault parties, so you may be able to seek compensation.