Lawsuits occur when one or more parties take legal action against a person, persons, or company. The plaintiffs pursue a lawsuit because they believe the defendant’s actions caused the wrongful death. For example, it’s common for car accident victims to file lawsuits against the negligent party causing their car accident.

Family members may also pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for a person’s death. Let’s look at what qualifies as a wrongful death lawsuit, examples of wrongful death suits, and ways to prevent wrongful deaths.

What qualifies as a wrongful death lawsuit?

Personal injury lawyers are legal experts who prepare wrongful death lawsuits for their clients. They must demonstrate the defendant’s negligence to justify a wrongful death suit. Lawyers must establish that the defendant’s actions or failure to act caused or contributed to the person’s death. Lawyers need to demonstrate the defendant breached their duty to the person who died. For example, medical doctors must meet expected standards of care, but if they fail to provide care to a patient who dies, they’ve breached their duty. Lawyers must prove the victim would be alive today if it weren’t for the actions or inaction of the accused, and attorneys must demonstrate the costs stemming from the wrongful death, such as loss of income, medical bills, and funeral costs.

What are some wrongful death lawsuit examples?

Philips Respironics recalled some continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines and ventilators in 2021. The recalled machines contained polyester-based polyurethane foam that can break down. Consequently, CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator users may ingest pieces of black foam or breathe in chemicals.

Using these machines caused some people to develop severe health issues. Personal injury lawyers pursuing the Philips CPAP machine injury lawsuit represent victims who’ve developed illnesses after using CPAP machines. While some people may suffer minor injuries, such as headaches and eye irritation, others develop asthma, lung cancer, and kidney and liver damage. Victims may have lifelong health issues stemming from exposure to the foam and chemicals, while others may die. Personal injury attorneys must prove the CPAP machines caused the victim’s illness and death, that the manufacturers didn’t ensure their products were safe for use, and the costs stem from the victim’s illness and death. These attorneys prepare legal paperwork, file paperwork with the courts, and attempt to negotiate settlements on behalf of their clients or present evidence in court.

Personal injury attorneys may also pursue cases against medical professionals. In the United States, medical errors are one of the leading causes of death. Victims’ family members may hire an attorney to file a suit against the medical facility or personnel responsible for their loved ones’ deaths. In 2010, the Health Affairs Journal published a study by Harvard University professors that concluded annual medical malpractice liability payments totaled $55.6 billion annually.

How can wrongful deaths be prevented?

Effective public health services can prevent wrongful deaths by ensuring access to essential health care services and implementing protocols to prevent disease transmission. Whether you lost someone to wrongful death or feel passionate about public health, earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health equips you to pursue a public health career. You can earn a public health BS online by completing 120 credit hours from an accredited university. The program planning, implementation, and evaluation courses ensure graduates understand how to assess needs and implement health plans to address community health issues. Courses covering health issues of vulnerable and marginalized populations prepare public health professionals to implement strategies enabling them to provide health care to vulnerable populations and prevent future wrongful deaths from ineffective service plans.

Wrongful deaths claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Victims’ family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for the wrongful death.