Leading Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims happen frequently in the United States. Learn the top 5 leading causes of wrongful death from our Dallas attorneys.

It’s a sad but true fact that several hundred thousand people die each year because of the reckless or negligent actions of others. Let’s take a look at the number of wrongful deaths that result from various causes.

Medical Malpractice: Between 210,000 – 440,000 deaths per year

Both of these astonishing ranges are estimates. No one knows the actual number. But it is clear that medical malpractice is the leading cause of wrongful death in the United States. A 2013 study in the Journal of Patient Safety confirms these deaths happen from “preventable medical errors.”

And to put it in perspective, it accounts for 1/6 of all deaths (not just wrongful deaths).

A previous study done in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine (called the “To Err is Human” report) had this number at 98,000.

Car Accidents – 33,783 deaths per year

In a distant second position is car accidents, which cause 33,783 deaths per year. This stat comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Note that number is not necessarily just wrongful deaths. It includes accidental deaths too.

But as you know, many of those are wrongful deaths resulting from intoxicated driving and other negligent behaviors.

Your Workplace – 4,405 deaths per year

The BLS’s 2013 workplace fatality data shows 4,405 workplace deaths. The types of occupations that lead in causing deaths break down like this:

  • Construction: 796
  • Manufacturing: 304
  • Wholesale trade: 190
  • Mining: 154
  • Utilities: 23

Defective Products – Less than 35,900 deaths per year

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission finds 35,900 deaths “related to, but not necessarily caused by” consumer products. So again, we don’t know the precise figure here.

Interestingly, the most vulnerable age group, speaking in terms of injuries, was people age 45-54. The second most vulnerable was people age 15-24. Astonishingly, children age 4 and under were the third least likely age group to be affected by dangerous products.

Some of the most dangerous household products their research found include:

  • Mothballs
  • Pesticides
  • Carpet chemicals
  • Laser printer chemicals
  • Lead paint
  • Air fresheners and cleaning solutions
  • Baby bottles
  • Flame retardants
  • Cosmetic phthalates (found in products like hair spray and rubber ducks)

Criminal Activity

We don’t have perfectly accurate numbers here. But, the CDC’s website notes there were 16,238 homicides in 2011.

Wrongful death is always a sad situation. But remember, if that happens to your loved one, you may have the right to recover financial compensation.

Make sure you speak to an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney if you are in this situation for a free consultation.