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What Are Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Reading?

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Wrongful death cases in Reading are part of a variety of tragic scenarios and may include car accidents resulting from negligence and medical malpractice cases in which patients die. As a result, accidents at work, deaths resulting from the use of defective products, and criminal damage or injury causing death, among others. It is challenging to consider the complexity of each case, which is why all specifics need to be analyzed; this, along with an experienced Reading wrongful death attorney, will help affected families achieve justice.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death claims in Reading, PAThe term “wrongful death” is a legal term that comes about when an individual dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another party.

The responsible party is liable for damages caused; survivors, including the spouse, children, or next of kin, may file a civil lawsuit for losses such as economic support from the victim’s demise, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.

Wrongful deaths arise out of different situations, such as car accidents, medical malpractice, job-related accidents, defective products, and jail.

The Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death

The widespread reasons for wrongful death have various circumstances of carelessness and reckless or purposeful behavior leading to the death of a person. Among the most common causes of action are numerous car accidents, malpractice, accidents at work, defective products, and violent outcomes involving anything criminal.

Defective Products

What Are Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Philadelphia?Defective product claims that result in consumers’ wrongful death typically fall under manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn. The situation occurs when a properly and consciously used product develops unhealthy, unforeseeable dangers and ultimately causes the victim’s death. The most common defective products that may result in wrongful death cases are related to some of the following areas:

  • Faulty car parts, such as defective airbags, brakes, or tires
  • Unsafe medical devices, such as implants or equipment with design flaws
  • Contaminated or adulterated food products causing fatal illness
  • Dangerous pharmaceutical drugs with undisclosed side effects or inadequate warning labels
  • Defective household appliances, such as heaters or electronics that cause fire damage
  • Hazardous children’s toys that have small, detachable parts or toxic materials
  • Industrial machinery or equipment with manufacturing defects that cause fatal workplace accidents
  • Poisonous chemicals or substances that cause lethal illnesses or injuries, mainly due to inadequate warning labels
  • Defective construction materials or structures causing fatal accidents or collapses
  • Unsafe toys or gadgets that have the potential to explode or cause fires

All of these products may cause severe or even fatal injuries to consumers, which is why there should be regulations and accountability for their manufacturing and distribution. In turn, the law often holds the manufacturer, wholesaler, and seller legally liable for a wrongful death claim. Such situations are also quite problematic and costly and require thorough checks, evidence-making, and expert explanations to protect the plaintiff’s victim’s wrongful death case.

Workplace Accidents

A wrongful death claim resulting from a workplace accident is a tragic and catastrophic event. These fatalities usually result from many factors, including inadequate safety precautions, poor training, equipment failures, or negligence. The most common types of workplace accidents often differ by industry; however, typical types include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Injuries from lifting objects or handling too heavy objects
  • Accidents involving machinery
  • Falls from heights
  • Electrical accidents
  • Accidents with hazardous chemicals

When workplace accidents result in the loss of a loved one, it often causes emotional devastation and financial ruin for surviving family members. Families must deal with losing a family member while worrying about their financial futures. When an event with workplace fatalities occurs, people should pursue justice through the legal system.

Auto Accidents

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 1.9 million deaths annually due to wrongful death car accidents. Auto accidents that claim the lives of victims are some of the most devastating events ever to occur. The causes range from negligence and reckless behavior, speeding and intoxication, and distraction to auto defects and are often manifested as:

  • Drunk driving accidents: Alcohol or other narcotics significantly impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times while operating a vehicle, leading to reckless driving conduct and deathly accidents.
  • Speeding: If the velocity of a vehicle is too high, the driver’s ability to react to potential dangers is severely reduced, and the impact results are brutal due to the loss of command.
  • Driving while distracted: A driver may be distracted from the road by texting, talking on a cell phone, or adjusting the radio, thus increasing the likelihood of risky manoeuvers and deathly accidents.
  • Reckless driving: Following too near, changing lanes while speeding at excessive road speeds, and disobeying traffic lights and signs are all examples of risky driving that can result in high-speed collisions.
  • Racing: Illegal street racing is a dangerous type of auto racing prone to dangerous conduct and frequently linked with death, involving motorists, passengers, and other victims or spectators. These accidents frequently occur due to inadequate driver conduct or poor decision-making, so it’s vital to follow every traffic protocol and drive securely while avoiding personal conduct.

Families are not only burdened with the loss of their loved ones but also face the financial implications. As such, families can file to seek justice and monetary compensation for the damage under the wrongful death claim.

Medical Malpractice

What Are Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Philadelphia?Medical malpractice-related wrongful death is a grim truth. This tragic incident occurs when healthcare practitioners do not observe the set standards or live up to the expectations in their line of work, resulting in fatalities. Medical care malpractice that causes wrongful death may include:

  • Misdiagnoses or mistaken diagnoses of critical illnesses
  • Surgery errors
  • Medication mistakes
  • Anesthetic accidents
  • Complications during blood-giving birth procedures
  • Failure of adequate medical monitoring

Negligent healthcare institutions and professionals may cause irreversible harm to patients or even death while causing sorrow to their relatives. Filing a lawsuit against those found liable by the wrongful death claim may help one find satisfaction for the loss of a loved one while raising awareness of what occurred, ensuring improved patient safety in the future and improved health care quality.

Bicycle Accident Cases

Although the circumstances leading to a wrongful death caused by a bicycle accident can be numerous and varied, this type of incident is often the result of:

  • Vehicle accidents: Motorists can collide with bikes in various ways due to their careless and inattentive driving habits. From time to overspeeding or ignoring to conceding the right of way to a cyclist simply because of their lack of vigilance, the reasons for such accidents can be numerous.
  • Harmful road conditions: Dangerous infrastructure can imperil even the most experienced cyclist. Faulty material on bicycles, Brakes that fail to operate, and gears that slip and fall can all result in a lethal accident on the road.
  • Carelessness of a third party: Municipalities, construction crews, and property owners are all to blame for the flawed infrastructure. In the event of a wrongful death caused by a bicycle accident, restitution can be found by instituting a settlement of civil complaints with the people who negligently caused the incident.

What Are Some Unique Considerations When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Reading, PA?

Although wrongful death lawsuits in Pennsylvania are most commonly filed by bringing a civil complaint to the court, there are some unique aspects to filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania:

Wrongful Death Act: Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death statute explains who is authorized to file this type of lawsuit and the category of damages that can be sought. The Act provides the procedural and substantive requirements for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the state.

Survival Action: Pennsylvania law requires a survival action suit and a wrongful death suit. This involves a claim for difficulty and suffering, medical costs, and other damages suffered by the decedent from the moment the accident or attack occurred until his or her death. Usually, the action is brought by the deceased’s agent.

Beneficiaries: According to Pennsylvania law, only certain family members can file a wrongful death suit. In most cases, only the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents can file a lawsuit. If none of these relatives are alive to file the lawsuit, the claim is filed by the estate’s agent.

Damages: Pennsylvania law also allows various categories of damages to be requested for in a wrongful death. A claimant may seek the cost of medical bills and a funeral, financial help, and the pain and suffering caused to the claimant.

Statute of Limitation: Like civil actions, wrongful death lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitation. In Pennsylvania, the rule is generally two years from the day of death. These terms govern the accession and procedure of a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania. It is, therefore, crucial to have a wrongful death attorney who knows the Pennsylvania rule and will help the plaintiff obtain the best possible recovery.

Other Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In addition to wrongful death claims and survival actions, several other types of lawsuits may arise in the context of wrongful death cases:

Intentional Acts: Such as murder or assault, that result in one or more deaths may be filed as actions against the party responsible. This would require one to prove that the death occurred based on the actions or carelessness of another party.

Dram Shop Liability: These lawsuits involve holding establishments, such as bars or restaurants, accountable for serving alcohol to individuals who subsequently cause injury or death due to intoxication. Laws vary by jurisdiction, but establishments may be liable if they serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals or minors who then cause harm.

Nursing Home Negligence: If a nursing home or long-term care facility fails to provide adequate care, leading to the death of a resident, the resident’s family may file a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death. This could include claims related to medication errors, neglect, abuse, or failure to prevent accidents.

Aviation Accidents: When a fatal accident involving an aircraft, such as a plane crash or helicopter crash, the victims’ families may pursue legal action against the airline, aircraft manufacturer, maintenance provider, or other parties deemed responsible for the accident.

Construction Accidents: Wrongful death lawsuits can arise from fatal accidents on construction sites due to unsafe working conditions, inadequate training, equipment failure, or negligence by contractors or site managers.

Government Liability: In cases where a government agency or employee’s negligence contributes to a fatal accident, such as in road maintenance or public transportation accidents, families may pursue legal action against the government entity under certain circumstances, though sovereign immunity laws may limit liability.

How Are Survival Actions Different From Wrongful Death Claims?

While both acts address the harm arising from an individual’s wrongful passing, they function under separate purposes and legal operating frameworks. Wrongful death claims are designed to ease the family’s financial burden, whereas survival action covers the loss of the estate. A wrongful death claim will be paid directly to the victim of harm, while survival claim damages are paid to the deceased’s estate.

Wrongful Death Claim

  • It is brought by the survivors or the deceased’s beneficiaries.
  • It aims to compensate the members for the losses caused by the death.
  • The claims include payment of funeral and burial costs, unpaid medical bills, loss of financial support, loss of social amenities, and pain and suffering suffered by the survivors.
  • It is meant to cater to the financial aspects of the surviving family members, who are directly affected by the cause-specific laws.
  • The parties can sue under a wrongful death claim, and the damages differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Survival Action

  • It is brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.
  • The act allows the decedent’s estate to sue for any legal claim the deceased person would have brought to court if they had survived. Such claims range from the expenses suffered by the deceased from the time of injury until death, pain and suffering caused before death, and loss of income that the deceased could have obtained.

Proving a Reading Wrongful Death Claim

Proving a loved one’s death as wrongful in Reading, or any region, comes with the requirement of certain elements to be proved:

Duty of Care: You have to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim; for example, in an auto accident case, all road users must operate their means cautiously, following the traffic rules.

Breach of Duty: It is also necessary to determine whether the defendant had intentionally or negligently violated their duty. Behaviors considered as violations include, but are not limited to, speeding, medical errors, or failure to provide safe premises.

Causation: To win the case, you have to create and prove cause-and-effect relationships between the breach of duty and your loved one’s death. E.g., one of the ways to prove the causation is to indicate that the negligence of the defendant led directly to the incident that caused the death.

Damages: Finally, one has to prove that the death caused damage and harm to the family who survived the wrongful death. Damages might be economic or non-economic.

To prove these elements, the help of a Reading wrongful death lawyer with experience and understanding of Reading’s jurisdiction for a wrongful death case is valued.

Our Reading Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here to Help

What Are Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Philadelphia?Although nothing can replace a loved one, financial compensation can help you secure compensation for your family’s fatalities. It would be best to pursue justice to have some sense of closure at that heartbreaking time. If your family member died from someone else’s negligence, the wrongful death attorneys at Munley Law can help. Our Reading wrongful death lawyers have extensive experience in handling wrongful death cases and getting compensation from the party responsible. For over 60 years, we have served families like yours, fighting for your rights, and we are not afraid to pursue a case against any opponent. Call us today for a free consultation, and let us discuss your wrongful death claim – we only take a fee if we win.

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