Wrongful Death Statistics
A wrongful death – defined as a death caused by another party’s actions or negligence – can occur in a number of circumstances. The statistics are staggering: every year, over 90,000 deaths occur due to medical malpractice alone, not including the many other causes of wrongful death. The following statistics provide a glimpse into the incidence and causes of wrongful death.
Motor Vehicle Fatalities
The CDC reports that there were 45,343 motor vehicle fatalities in 2005 – the leading cause of death in unintentional accidents. Of these deaths, 5,212 involved trucking accidents. In 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 17,419 DUI-related fatalities – 41 percent of traffic deaths that year.
Medical Malpractice Fatalities
Medical malpractice – including misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose; surgical errors; and substandard care – causes numerous fatalities each year. According to studies conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one in five medical errors are potentially serious or fatal.
Accordingly, an estimated 98,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors (including 7,000 deaths caused by medication errors).
The CDC reports that there were 19,656 slip-and-fall fatalities in 2005. Contributing factors include obstructed, slippery, or poorly lit walking areas, unguarded stairways, lack of safety signs, and use of unapproved ladders and other equipment.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that, in 2006, there were 5,840 fatalities resulting from workplace accidents. Some of the causes of these workplace injures were:
- Traffic incidents (2,459 deaths)
- Assault and violent acts (788 deaths)
- Contact with objects or equipment (993 deaths)
- Falls (827 deaths)
- Exposure to harmful substances (547 deaths)
Traumatic Brain Injury Fatalities
A traumatic brain injury can occur because of a sudden impact (for example, in an auto incident or slip-and-fall accident), because of a medical mistake, and for other reasons. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that, each year, more than 50,000 people die because of a traumatic brain injury.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
If your family is facing the aftermath of the death of a loved one caused by someone else’s actions, you may be able to pursue damages for your loss by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Use ImpactLaw to locate an experienced wrongful death attorney in your area.