Wrongful Death: Injured
Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death claims are usually brought by the estate of a person who was killed due to fault of another. The most common plaintiffs are the surviving spouse or the children of the deceased. The wrongful death laws differ from state to state. Generally, the elements are the same and include a death of a human being which was caused either by negligence or the intent to harm. The surviving family members usually need to be suffering a monetary injury as a result of the death. A wrongful death lawsuit often ties in with other personal injury lawsuits including vehicle accidents or medical malpractice.


Recently in Wrongful Death Category

A fourth-story balcony of a Berkeley, Calif. apartment complex collapsed late last night, killing six young people and critically injuring seven others. The victims, many of whom were from Ireland and working and studying in the country, were celebrating a birthday when the apartment deck collapsed.

Local police, fire officials, and building inspectors are investigating the accident, and a criminal investigation is unlikely at this time.

Prosecutors charged Bumble Bee Foods and two managers after a worker was cooked to death in an industrial oven along with six tons of tuna. Plant Operations Director Angel Rodriguez and former safety manager Saul Florez could face 3 years in prison and the Bumble Bee could pay $1.5 million in fines for violating workplace safety standards.

But what about the family of the man who died, Jose Melena? Does workers' compensation cover death in the workplace? Or will survivors need to file a wrongful death claim?

If a patient dies because of misconduct by doctors or medical personnel, surviving family members may be able to recover damages by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. And if medical malpractice causes a mother to die during her pregnancy or childbirth, her survivors, including the baby could file a wrongful death of the mother claim.

While these claims may look like standard wrongful death or medical malpractice lawsuits, there are some considerations to keep in mind in the situation that occurs when a mother has died before or during childbirth.

There are two major legal protections of our medical privacy: the physician-patient privilege and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Both preclude doctors from disclosing your medical records to third parties without your consent.

But what happens to your medical records after you die? What if you need access to a deceased loved one or family member's medical records? Here's how death affects medical privacy under HIPAA and the physician-patient privilege.

This week, Alameda County paid $8.3 million to the family of a man who died while in the county's Santa Rita Jail. The settlement was the largest of its kind, and included Corizon Health, the largest supplier of private health care services to prisons in the country.

In the past, we've noted how difficult it can be for inmates to bring injury lawsuits, and wondered whether an inmate can sue for injuries at all. It's still too early to tell if this recent settlement will make future suits easier, but here are three possible lessons the Alameda case can teach us about inmate injury claims.

The family of John Crawford III is suing Walmart and the Beavercreek, Ohio, police department for wrongful death after the 22-year-old father was shot and killed in August.

Crawford was shot by a Beavercreek police officer responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun at Walmart; Crawford was holding a BB gun that he'd found unattended in the store. A grand jury in September declined to indict the officer or his partner for the fatal shooting. The Washington Post reports that Crawford's family is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Why is Walmart being sued over Crawford's death?

Bus Accident at Burning Man Claims Woman's Life

A woman attending this year's Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert has reportedly been killed in a bus accident.

The woman, who has not been identified pending notification of her next of kin, fell under a bus carrying festival attendees, reports the Burning Man Blog.

What are some of the legal options the woman's family may have following this tragic incident?

Nanny service company Care.com has been sued by the parents of a 3-month-old child who died under a babysitter's watch.

Nathan and Reggan Koopmeiners of Kenosha, Wisconsin, have filed wrongful death suits against Care.com and Sarah Gumm, 35, who is set to stand trial for their baby Rylan's death, reports the Chicago Tribune. The suit alleges that Gumm had prior criminal run-ins that Care.com failed to disclose to the parents, despite the couple paying an additional fee for a "premier background check" on a potential nanny.

Are Care.com and Gumm really liable for the Rylan Koopmeiner's death?

Can You Sue for Hazing Injuries?

Despite crackdowns by schools and state legislatures, college and high school students continue to get injured and even killed during hazing rituals.

Last month, a California State University, Northridge student died after being found by a park ranger shoeless and dehydrated in a nearby national forest. His family and friends believe that he was being hazed by members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity who had taken him and other fraternity pledges on the hike, reports the Los Angeles Times.

If you or your child is injured while being hazed by members of a fraternity, band, sports team, or other school organization, can you sue for your injuries?

The parents of a boy who committed suicide after an embarrassing video was posted online are seeking $1 million from his school district, alleging the school was culpable for their bullied son's treatment.

Matthew Burdette, 14, of San Diego, killed himself in November after an online video of the teen in a school bathroom stall went viral; the classmate who posted the video claimed Matthew was masturbating. San Diego's KGTV reports that Burdette's school knew about the incident, but the boy's parents didn't learn about it until well after their son had passed.

Is the school potentially liable for Burdette's death?