There are people who die accidentally, and this is a tragedy. However, there are times when the death could have been prevented. When this happens, it can be considered a wrongful death, and surviving loved ones may be entitled to compensation. The following are three examples of this that you may not be aware of.
Just because a doctor can legally prescribe medication does not mean they are absolved of any responsibility. For example, if you loved one became addicted to legally prescribed opioids, such as hydrocodone, there may be a case for wrongful death if this addiction was the cause of your loved one's death. But the list of possibilities does not end with addictive medications. Anytime a doctor is not adequately following up with his or her patient and a patient has adverse side effects that lead to death, there is the potential for a wrongful death case.
Alcohol related death
When a person kills someone while driving drunk, naturally, there is a criminal case that will usually be prosecuted, but if your loved one was the victim of the drunk driver, you may be able to bring a wrongful death case against the intoxicated driver. In some states, you may also be able to bring a case against a bar or restaurant that served the driver alcohol, if it can be shown they were reckless in servicing too much alcohol. This usually applies only to a third party and not the drunk driver. The one exception is often a minor. If your child was driving drunk and this resulted in his or her death, the establishment that served them liquor could be sued.
There are people who keep exotic animals as pets. In some cases, these pet owners do so legally while in other situations the pets are illegal. In either case, if a loved one has been killed by one of these animals, there may be a case of wrongful death. This may be true even if the pet was owned legally. Although the laws vary from one state to another, legal ownership of this type of pet creates a strict liability for the owner. Examples include large snakes, such as pythons, but there are many large cats like pumas and jaguars that people keep as pet. Regardless of the circumstances of your loved ones death, you should consult with a personal injury attorney if they were killed by an exotic pet.
If you have any suspicion that your loved one would still be alive if not for the action or inaction of another person, you need to contact a personal injury attorney to get more information.