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What Are the Leading Causes of Wrongful Death?

Anyone can die in a freak accident. Think of the person who died in England when a bale of hay rolled onto him, or the famous dancer who got her scarf caught in the axle of a car and was strangled. These freakish accidents are famous because of how rare they are.

But statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that most fatal accidents are commonplace. In fact, they are downright predictable. The leading causes of accidental death include fatal falls, motor vehicle collisions, and poisoning.

Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys if you lost a family member to a fatal accident. Our lawyers know how emotional this time is, but you have important legal rights you don’t want to lose. You might be able to request financial compensation in a wrongful death claim, but important deadlines apply which you don’t want to miss.

Overview of Fatal Accidents

According to the CDC, there were a total of 224,935 fatal accidents in the United States in 2021. These numbers worked out to around 68 fatal accidents per 100,000 people. That’s 616 fatal accidents each day of the year. Accidents ranked as the fourth highest cause of the death in the country.

Fatal Falls

Falling accidentally is a major cause of death. About 1 in 5 fatal accidents are fall related (13.5 out of 100,000). A total of 44,686 people died in 2021 due to accidental falls.

Falls from a height are more dangerous than falling on the ground—although a person could die from any type of fall. However, the further distance they fall, the more force is generated when they strike the ground. Falls from a second story or higher are especially deadly.

Someone might also die when they slip on something or trip over an object. They might strike their head on something, which causes a serious brain injury. For example, a person who slips and falls could strike their head on a desk or chair, leading to a severe traumatic brain injury.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving motor vehicles accounted for 45,404 deaths in 2021, with a rate of 13.7 per 100,000 people. Any type of motor vehicle collision is potentially deadly, but some are more dangerous than others. A head-on collision is often much more deadly than a sideswipe or a parking lot accident. Any accident at higher speeds is also more likely to be fatal.

Buckling up makes a big difference. The CDC reports that wearing a seatbelt reduced the risk of a fatal injury for someone sitting in the front by 45%. Seat belts restrain occupants from being tossed out the window, and they also reduce serious internal injuries.

If you are riding a motorcycle or bicycle, then wearing a helmet can also reduce fatalities by around 40%.

Accidental Poisoning

A total of 102,001 people died in 2021 due to accidental poisoning. That is roughly 40% of all fatal accidents.

The most common substances which lead to poisoning include:

  • Personal care products or cosmetics
  • Household cleaners
  • Analgesics (painkillers like aspirin)
  • Herbals and dietary supplements
  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamines

For example, a child could accidentally drink bleach or other dangerous household cleaners, which leads to death. Or a person could take too many vitamins or pain medication, with equally tragic consequences. Over-the-counter medications need proper safety labels and instructions so consumers know not to take too much. When they are missing, a product is defective.

Intentional Deaths

Some deaths are intentional. In 2021, there were a total of 26,031 homicides in the United States, working out to 7.8 per 100,000 people. Homicides involving firearms were the majority of deaths (20,958), which is a sign of how deadly guns are.

Suing for Wrongful Death in Georgia

In Georgia, surviving family members might be able to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death whenever a loved one dies in a homicide or in an accident. The key consideration is whether the death was “wrongful” according to the law. If someone intentionally or negligently kills a family member, you might have a valid claim.

For example, our firm might end up suing the following for a death:

  • Distracted drivers
  • Drunk drivers
  • Fatigued motorists
  • Property owners for failing to fix a defect which leads to a fall
  • Manufacturers for failing to make dangerous chemicals child-proof
  • Property owners for negligent security which leads to a violent attack
  • Criminals who commit homicide

In this type of legal claim, you can seek financial compensation for various losses you have personally suffered after a loved one died. Financial compensation often includes any income your loved one would have earned had they lived. You might also seek compensation for lost services. As an example, your wife might have taken care of young children. Now that she is gone, you will probably have to pay for daycare.

How We Can Help

An accidental death is a shocking experience for parents, children, and spouses left behind. Bringing a wrongful death case has certain challenges, however:

  • You need to show the death was wrongful and the defendant has liability for the death;
  • You need to prove your losses in order to receive compensation;
  • You need to prove your loved one did not contribute to the accident, otherwise you might not receive anything or your settlement will be lowered;
  • You need legal help negotiating a financial settlement with the defendant;
  • You should hire an attorney to file a lawsuit if settlement talks break down.

Georgia gives family members a maximum of two years to file a lawsuit. That isn’t much time, especially if you are overwhelmed moving after a loved one’s death.

Reach Out to Our Experienced Legal Team

Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys has the legal knowledge and resources to bring a successful wrongful death claim. These are among the most difficult lawsuits to win. Defendants usually defend themselves aggressively, and finding the right evidence is key. Let us discuss all your options in a free consultation. You may call our firm today at (404) 529-3476 or contact us online.

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