Thousands of Americans are killed each year because of negligence on the part of vehicle operators, medical caretakers, drug companies, or manufacturers of commercial goods. The families of many of these individuals have filed wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of their loved ones against the companies or individuals who were responsible for the negligence that caused their death.
Agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the US Consumer Products Safety Commission create rules designed to insure that drugs, devices, and other products sold in the US are as safe as possible. Medical licensing boards and other agencies create rules to ensure that doctors and medical staff follow practices designed to keep their patients healthy and safe. When companies and medical practitioners fail to follow these guidelines, the wrongful death of a consumer or patient can result.
The wrongful death of an individual can result from a number of causes, including:
Workers who were employed in industries that involved the use of dangerous chemicals on the job—including fracking, factories, oil and natural gas drilling, chemical plants, shipyards, or construction workers—may be at risk of serious and potentially deadly illnesses caused by these products. Workplace exposure to asbestos, silica, or other dangerous products may cause illnesses such as mesothelioma that can take decades before the first symptoms appear.
According to the CDC, deaths due to prescription drugs are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing car accidents for the first time in 2009. For example, deaths from prescription painkillers, anxiety drugs, and other dangerous medications account for more deaths each year than heroin and cocaine combined. Prescription drug deaths may also occur because of defects in the way these products were designed or manufactured by the drug companies, or because of errors in the way that they were prescribed by a physician.
Medical Device Defects
Thousands of Americans rely on pacemakers, surgical devices, and other medical devices in order to treat chronic conditions and improve the quality of their daily life. When these products are not manufactured to the highest safety standards or are not properly designed, the health and even the lives of patients who use them may be at risk. Problems can also occur when medical devices are not properly implanted by a physician, either because of surgical errors or failure to follow guidelines set by the manufacturer or agencies like the FDA.
When doctors, hospital staff, or other medical personnel fail to follow proper standards of care when treating their patients, serious and potentially fatal health consequences can result. Medical malpractice errors can occur for a variety of reasons: failure to diagnose an injury or illness, errors in the use of medications or anesthesia, surgical errors, delays in the administration of treatment, using defective medical equipment, and others causes. When errors on the part of doctors or medical staff result in serious injuries, illness, or death, they can be held accountable for their negligence in a court of law.
Each year, thousands of children and adults are injured by defective commercial products as a result of poor design, improper manufacturing, or inadequate warning labels. Although many of these defective products are recalled by the manufacturer or federal agencies, many others remain on the market, posing serious and potentially fatal safety risks to those who use them. Defective automobiles, heavy machinery, construction materials, medical devices, and other products can be deadly to workers and consumers.
Car accidents cause nearly 3 million injuries and about 40,000 deaths each year. In some cases, these injuries and fatalities are caused by the failure of the automaker to insure the crashworthiness of the vehicle: its ability to protect the driver and passengers in the event of an accident. Other deaths and injuries are caused by accidents involving a truck or 18-wheeler or by unsafe driving practices, including distracted driving and drunk driving. About one in eight traffic fatalities occurs because of a trucking accident, due to negligence on the part of the driver, the trucking company, or a third party.
Families of Wrongful Death Victims Have Legal Rights
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, it may be that the negligence of a manufacturer, pharmaceutical company, or medical staff was to blame. Families whose loved ones were hurt because of negligence on the part of a corporation or individual may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for this incident.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and have settled hundreds more, including cases involving medical malpractice, defective drugs or medical products, car and trucking accidents, and unsafe commercial products. Our attorneys have the experience and financial resources to handle personal injury cases from start to finish. In many instances, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of our clients in order to take a case to trial.
To speak with a lawyer about your case and find out if you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link on this website to our free case evaluation form.