Emergency call negligence may result in wrongful death

Wrongful death happens when someone dies as a result of another’s negligence. Unfortunately, this happens more often than we think.

Wrongful death is a bit of an unusual term, because there is no such thing as a death that is right. As awkward as it may seem, to understand what wrongful death is, you have to look at the bigger picture. When someone dies as the result of the negligence or inaction of another person or an entity, this is called wrongful death. It may sound simple on the surface, but it rarely is, as any Atlanta personal injury lawyer will tell you.

For those who have died at the hands of another, there may be fairly large damage awards for the deceased’s loved ones. Wrongful death has no particular niche. It strikes at anytime, anywhere and may be the result of a car accident, medical malpractice or even not maintaining property to ensure it is safe for others to visit. Another form of wrongful death may happen when a 911 call for help is not handled properly or promptly.

An improperly handled 911 call would involve the dispatcher handling the call in a negligent manner or being careless about the information he or she gathered and sent out. If someone dies as a result of those errors, the operator may be held liable for the wrongful death. One enormous oversight made by 911 dispatchers is not getting enough information from the caller.

For example, not getting the right address or all the details of the emergency situation may result in emergency responders going to the wrong location or not sending the right kind of emergency personnel to the scene. Not having a complete understanding of the severity of a situation a caller is describing may also result in an untimely and unnecessary death.

Take the case of the baby who had stopped breathing in a small town. The family called the dispatch center six times over a 15-minute period but the calls went unanswered. For some reason they were not going through to the dispatch center, either due to operator error or a technical glitch. Finally, the last call for help was answered by an operator in the next county. Unfortunately, the baby died while help was on the way. While there are several facets of this case to be delved into, the result was a wrongful death.

If you have any questions about how a wrongful death lawsuit is handled in your state, make sure you call and ask a skilled personal injury lawyer. While every state has a wrongful death statute, each state also has slightly different rules and regulations. If you live in Georgia, make that call to an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.

Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. Learn more at Webbdorazio.com.

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