California Wrongful Death Statistics
Statistics on 8 Common Causes of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death cases are particularly difficult to prove because all deaths feel wrong. Legally, however, “wrongful death” is only wrong if it is caused by the negligence or intentional actions of another. In the state of California, a loved one may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the plaintiff can prove that the death of their loved one was due to the negligence of another, they may be able to recover financial compensation for economic losses.
Even though there could be a criminal prosecution related to the death of the victim, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that is separate from criminal charges. The standard of proof the plaintiff is expected to show is typically lower in a civil case compared to a criminal case for murder.
If one of your loved ones has been killed and you believe it is because of the negligence of another, you may have a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact our experienced team of wrongful death attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers for a free evaluation of your case.
Common Wrongful Death Cases in California
- Car Accidents
- Fatal car crashes rose by 4.9 percent in 2020 to 3,723 from 3,540 in 2019.
- California is ranked as the second state with the most fatal car accidents, with a total of 3,259 deaths reported.
- Car crashes rank the highest in wrongful death and personal injury claims for age groups between 5 to 34 years old.
- Truck Accidents
- Firearm Deaths
- Contributed heavily to the increase in homicides in 2020. Homicides involving guns rose by 35 percent.
- There have been 3,184 wrongful deaths due to firearms in 2017.
- From 2019 to 2020, the homicide rate increased by 27 percent.
- About 5.8 homicides per 100,000 residents occurred in 2020.
- Homicide victims increased by 36 percent for Black Californians.
- Homicide victims rose by 30 percent for Hispanics.
- Homicides for white victims increased by 15 percent, while Asian victims rose by 10 percent.
- The common age demographic for homicide victims was between 15 to 34 years old.
- Males were more likely to be victims of homicide than females.
- Los Angeles County was one of the top counties in California with the highest homicide rates. The county experienced a 32 percent increase in 2020.
- Bicycle Accident
- From 2016 to 2018, there have been a total of 106 fatal bicycle accidents in Los Angeles County. This is a 30 percent increase compared to data from 2006 to 2008, where the total amount was 74.
- Traffic accidents have contributed to the death of 455 cyclists in California.
- Nationwide, the total number of cyclist deaths is 2,516.
- Slip and Fall Deaths
- In 2019, 880 workers died in a slip and fall.
- Falls contributed 5 percent of job-related fatalities for women and 11 percent for men.
- Occupational fatalities caused by a slip and fall are about 600 per year.
- Fatal slip and falls typically occur in construction, mining, and certain maintenance activities.
- Deaths and wrongful deaths of about 1,800 nursing home residents occur each year due to fall-related injuries.
- Elderlies who are 65 and older are 4 times more likely to pass away from a fall-related injury if they are living in a nursing home compared to those who are living at home with their family.
- Medical Malpractice
- Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
- An estimate of 250,000 lives are lost each year due to lack of proper medical care by healthcare providers.
- The U.S. patient-care study released a report in 2016, which included death-rate data for 8 consecutive years. The study found that out of a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, a rate of 251,454 deaths occurred per year due to medical errors.
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle deaths account for 1 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents in California.
- Males ages 18 to 29 years old who ride sports bikes are the most common group of motorcyclists involved in a deadly motorcycle crash.
- 68 percent of female motorcyclists involved in a fatal collision were passengers.
- In 2016, 48 percent of motorcycle deaths would happen on the weekends around 6pm.
- In 2019, 474 motorcycle fatalities were reported in California.
- Also in 2019, a total of 2,811 fatal motorcycle accidents took place in the United States.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
A decedent’s surviving family members are subject to costly repairs, bodily damage, and mental anguish for a wrongful death accident. We at West Coast Trial Lawyers understand how stressful these situations can be and we handle each case with the individual attention and compassion you deserve. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers will help you recover financial and emotional damages that you have suffered. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, property damage, and more.