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What is an accidental death lawyer?

Suddenly losing a loved one from an accident can be incredibly hard for those close to the victim. Accidental death covers many types of incidents and depending on the circumstances of the death, an accidental death lawyer can help the surviving family seek compensation.

How an accidental death lawyer can help you

When dealing with this kind of case, it is vital you hire an accidental death lawyer to help you navigate your options for the lawsuit. Lawsuits and settlements for accidental death have different rules in every state, so how your accidental death lawyer handles a claim in California is not necessarily the same as in another state.

As with any other type of lawsuit, the lawyers will represent their clients (in this case, the surviving family members or close relatives) in a lawsuit or trial and present evidence for their claims, seeking compensation for their losses and all the troubles the death of their family member may have brought.

An accidental death lawyer can also advise their clients on their obligations, legal rights, and what is the best way to proceed depending on the legal circumstances of the case.

To successfully file an accidental death lawsuit, the lawyer must research the legal issues and interpret laws, regulations, and rulings of the state and jurisdiction where the case is being brought

Accidental Death Definition

The definition by USLegal reads:

“Accidental death refers to a death resulting from an unusual event that was unanticipated by everyone involved. It should not be intended, expected, or foreseeable.

The following is an example of a State Statute (California) defining Accidental Death:

According to Cal Fish & G Code § 8103 (e) “Accidental death” means death resulting directly and solely from any of the following:

(1) An accidental injury visible on the surface of the body or disclosed by an autopsy sustained solely by external, violent, and accidental means.

(2) A disease or infection resulting directly from an accidental injury and beginning within 30 days after the date of the injury.

(3) An accidental drowning.”

Types of Accidental Death

Examples of accidental deaths include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. The leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, motor vehicle accidents include mechanically or electrically powered vehicles.
  • Each year there are approximately 13,000 deaths from falls.
  • This category consists of 2 subcategories: Poisoning by gases and vapors (ie. carbon monoxide poisoning) and poisoning by solids and liquids (i.e. drugs and medications).
  • This category excludes drownings that occur as a result of natural disasters.
  • Fire-related injuries. This includes burns, asphyxiation, and deaths that occur from falling objects during a fire.
  • This includes choking on food or ingesting an object that blocks the air passage.
  • This does not include people who are murdered, killed in combat, or individuals who commit suicide using a firearm.
  • Industrial accidents. This can include explosions, equipment malfunctions, mining accidents, and any other work-related deaths.
  • Other accidents: This includes medical complications resulting from mistakes made by medical professionals (e.g. surgery), air transport injury, machine interactions, mechanical suffocation, and the impact from a falling object.


Accidental Death


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.

This content about accidental death lawyer was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.