Recognizing the Top-5 Most Common Wrongful Death Scenarios

The untimely death of a loved one is among the most devastating events that an individual or a family can endure.  Often, the pain caused by the unexpected (and in some cases, preventable) death of an individual is exacerbated by the resentment that can build amongst family members, relatives, and close friends when they feel that the actions of another individual or entity are to blame, which has yet to be held accountable.  The phrase wrongful death refers to a set of circumstances when the negligent actions of an individual or an entity are responsible for the untimely death of another individual (the victim) which may have otherwise been avoidable.

The number of circumstances and scenarios which can be classified as wrongful death are innumerable; however, virtually every case involves some degree of negligence on the part of the surviving participant(s) to the event.  Jason Melton is a leading wrongful death litigation attorney, victim’s right’s advocate and Managing Partner at Whittel & Melton, LLC, a Florida-based law firm specializing in wrongful death litigation.  His Firm has been recognized by its peers for being among the preeminent Plaintiff’s Right’s law firms in country due to its extensive track record and continued involvement in marquis tort litigation that sets legal precedent and impacts case law for years to come.

We sat down with Jason to discuss how the average person can learn to identify the top-5 most common wrongful death scenarios.  Jason starts “The determining factor in identifying wrongful death is the degree of negligence or harm that was inflicted by an individual or company [defendant] upon the decedent [complainant] or its surviving family due to the oversight, disregard or careless action of those involved in the situation of death or those entrusted with his/her care, employment, or safe travel.  If a family member or loved one has passed away under circumstances like those mentioned, you may want to explore wrongful death representation by a reputable law firm.”  Jason continues, “Often, identifying wrongful death can be a difficult task and one that is made more painful due to the degree of diligence that is required to examine the context in which a loved one passed away.” Scenarios of wrongful death can include:

  1. A caretaker shirking his/her responsibilities to a patient who was terminally ill at their time of death (or potentially even healthy under extenuating circumstances)
  2. A physician taking unnecessary risk in an operation or course of treatment, improperly communicating the risk of an operation or course of treatment to the decedent or next of kin, and/or suggesting an operation or course of treatment when the family has reason to believe such course of action was not medically sound
  3. A physician prescribing a medication, compelling a patient to undergo an operation or suggesting a course of treatment that in any way contributed to birth defects or the wrongful death of an unborn fetus
  4. An employer compelling an employee to work under conditions or among factors that it knew or should have known were dangerous to an employee
  5. The negligent, careless and/or reckless use of any motor vehicle (car, pickup truck, semi-trailer truck, motorcycle, golf cart) causing the death of another driver, passenger or innocent bystander

Under the circumstances of wrongful death, the family and loved ones of the deceased not only suffer emotionally, but must also cope with the financial hardships that can arise from extended medical or palliative care, end of life costs and accompanying legal expenses.  Unfortunately, these costs frequently turn into substantial debt obligations for the surviving family members of the decedent and can be made even more burdensome when the decedent was the primary generator of income for the family.  Engaging a wrongful death attorney provides surviving family members and loved ones with an advocate to fight on their behalf, not only to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions, but also to assist the family in seeking monetary restitution and damages for the trauma suffered at the hands of the negligent individual or entity.  These monetary awards – either agreed to by both parties as conditions to a settlement or at the direction of the court – can serve to repair the financial stability of a family that has recently lost its primary wage earner to wrongful death (and typically include additional compensation for the payment of the prevailing party’s attorney’s fees).

Jason adds “If you’ve recently experienced the death of a loved one under circumstances similar to those described above, then I would recommend a consultation with a credible wrongful death attorney (most of which are free) with substantial experience and a proven track record of achieving 6-figure settlements on behalf of his/her clients.  If hired, your attorney can act as an advocate for your family, guiding you through the litigation process itself as well as the subsequent rebuilding process, when your family determines the best next steps for their future, including how best to invest any proceeds from a settlement if the case is won.

This guide was compiled in collaboration with Whittel & Melton, a leading personal injury and wrongful death law firm and a recognized expert in the identification and litigation of all varieties of wrongful death cases.

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About Whittel & Melton, LLC

The Law Offices of Whittel & Melton are poised and ready to defend your family during the most trying of times. Specifically, our staff and lawyers stand ready to help you recover financially when a loved one has been taken needlessly due to the negligence of some person, persons or a company. Most Wrongful Death cases involve insurance companies and in Florida that means start preparing your case immediately, because you can be sure they have. To better determine if you have a Wrongful Death case, call now or email the lawyers at Whittel & Melton at 1-866-608-5529 or

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