What is an accidental death attorney?
An accidental death is an unnatural death that is caused by an accident such as a slip and fall, traffic collision, or accidental poisoning. Depending on the circumstances of the case, surviving members of the deceased can consult with an accidental death attorney and bring forth a legal action.
Accidental deaths are distinguished from death by natural causes (disease) and from intentional homicides and suicide. An accidental death can still be considered a homicide or suicide if a person was the unintentional cause; in any case, the best option is always consulting with an accidental death attorney.
What is Accidental Death?
The common verbiage dictates that an accidental death is a loss of life due to any reason other than natural causes; natural causes meaning disease or old age. Therefore, even if there is an intentional taking of life (apart from suicide), not necessarily by accident, the loss is valid and insurable. Murder is considered an accidental death even though there may be intent to kill and end a life.
Other common claim scenarios arise due to slip and falls, accidental weapon wounds, car and motorcycle accidents, drowning, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, head traumas, work-related machinery malfunctions and plane crashes.
For criminal purposes
For criminal purposes, intentional homicides are usually classified as murder. Exceptions such as self-defense vary by jurisdiction, and in some cases, persons accused of murder have asserted as a defense that the deceased was actually the victim of an accidental death rather than an intentional act.
A person who is responsible for the accidental death of another through negligence may still be criminally liable for manslaughter, and civilly liable for wrongful death.
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance and similar insurance policies pay a benefit in the event of an accidental death. With these policies, it must be demonstrated that a given death is, in fact, an accident, rather than an intentional suicide or homicide (which might also involve insurance fraud).
It has been suggested that “(the) vast majority of accidents are not really accidents of chance but rather accidents of folly, negligence, and blatant human misjudgment”.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the US in 2015, there were 146,571 “unintentional injury deaths” that year, the fourth leading cause of death. Of those, 47,478 were from unintentional poisoning, 37,757 were from traffic accidents, and 33,381 were from falls.
How can an accidental death attorney help
Working with an accidental death attorney can help you determine if you may have a case, how strong it is, and how much it might be worth. Usually, the survivor can pursue damages, which is compensation for the loss that this death represents for the survivor.
These can include funeral and burial expenses, lost income from the deceased, and compensation for the loss of companionship and support. Sometimes, depending on the case’s circumstances, you may have grounds to seek other damages.
The legal process that an accidental death lawsuit entails is complicated and can be time-consuming, especially when you have no legal assistance. Additionally, you need to file many documents within tight deadlines; however, your attorney will take on these tasks, allowing you to mourn and spend your time healing from this difficult situation.
More on Wrongful Death:
- What is an Accidental death attorney?
- What is an accidental death lawyer?
- Why You Need the Best Wrongful Death Attorney
- Unlawful Death Lawsuits in California
- What You Should Know Before Filing for Wrongful Death
- 3 Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
- Wrongful Death Damages You Can Recover
- California Wrongful Death Law - Top things you should know
- Wrongful Death Lawsuit vs. Murder Cases
- The Basic Elements of Wrongful Death Litigation
- Finding the Best Wrongful Death Attorney
- How a Wrongful Death Claim Works
- Pursuing Wrongful Death Settlements
- Recoverable Wrongful Death Damages in California
- Seeking Wrongful Death Settlements
- Suing for Wrongful Death in California
- What is a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
- Who can be awarded Wrongful death damages
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Wrongful Death Damages
- Wrongful Death Negligence: the basics
- Receiving and Distributing Wrongful Death Settlements
- A Brief Overview of the Wrongful Death Litigation Process
- Available Defenses against Wrongful Death Lawsuits
- Quick Q&A on Wrongful Death Litigation
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.