The loss of a loved one can be a tragic thing, especially since so many deaths do not need to happen. This is the underlying basis of wrongful death lawsuits, which hold negligent parties accountable for the loss of a loved one. Walnut Creek, CA attorney Scott H.Z. Sumner has helped numerous Contra Costa County families who’ve lost loved ones in ways that could have been avoided.
Let’s take a moment to consider the leading causes of preventable death in the United States and how they may related to wrongful death lawsuits.
The Five Leading Causes of Preventable Death
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are the five leading causes of death in America with an estimate of just how many of these deaths were preventable:
- Heart Disease - 34 percent of these deaths were preventable, approximately 92,000 deaths that did not need to happen
- Cancer - 21 percent of these deaths were preventable, approximately 84,500 deaths that did not need to happen
- Unintentional Injuries - 39 percent of these deaths were preventable, approximately 37,000 deaths that did not need to happen
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease - 39 percent of these deaths were preventable, approximately 29,000 deaths that did not need to happen
- Strokes - 33 percent of these deaths were preventable, approximately 17,000 deaths that did not need to happen
Did Negligence Play a Role in the Loss of a Loved One?
In each of the above cases, there is a chance that the preventable death of a loved one could have been avoided if another party had acted differently. Our Walnut Creek law firm will go over all of the evidence in your case to determine if someone else should be held accountable.
Below are just a few examples of how negligence could have contributed to the loss of a loved one.
Medical Malpractice and Preventable Deaths
A chilling 2016 study by Johns Hopkins found that up to 10 percent of all deaths (250,000 fatalities) in the United States each year may be the result of medical mistakes. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death in the country.
Given the dangers of surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and countless other mistakes, these numbers, while terrifying, should come as no surprise. Negligent medical professionals must be held accountable.
Serious Falls and Preventable Deaths
“Unintentional injuries” covers a wide range of trauma, which includes serious falls. These kinds of accidents can happen in different places, and can have fatal outcomes.
According to the CDC, more than 3 million senior citizens go to the emergency room each year because of injuries sustained in a fall. We should also note the potential for falls in the construction industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that falls were responsible for 39 percent of construction worker deaths in 2017.
Auto Accidents and Preventable Deaths
Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its preliminary fatal accident numbers for 2018. According to these figures, 36,750 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions last year.
We’re on the road so much, whether it’s commuting or just running errands. The fact that a fatal collision could happen at any time, and because of a drunk or reckless driver, puts matters into perspective.
Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you live in the Walnut Creek area and have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligent actions, be sure to contact a skilled fatal accident and wrongful death attorney. Call (925) 278-6170 to speak with a member of the Sumner Law legal team about your case.