Most Common Causes of Preventable Death By Sean Burke on July 01, 2019

A gavel and law bookAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 169,936 preventable deaths in the United States in 2017. If the negligent or reckless actions of another person or party contributed to the death, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.

At Burke Law in Irvine, CA, Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos can help clients file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages for losses. Here, we discuss the most common causes of preventable death, along with who may be liable for these accidental deaths.


Poisoning has now surpassed auto accidents as the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. According to the NSC’s Injury Facts® report, poisoning accounted for 36 percent of all preventable deaths, with 64,795 deaths in 2017.

The reason for the increase in poisoning deaths is the opioid epidemic. Poisoning includes drug overdoses, along with the accidental ingestion of household products, lead, and carbon monoxide.

If a loved one died as a result of a prescription drug overdose, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug.

In cases of lead or carbon monoxide poisoning, the property owner may be liable for any deaths that occur.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents resulted in 38,659 deaths, which accounted for 25 percent of preventable deaths in 2017.

According to the report, driving while under the influence, distracted driving, and speeding were the main causes of fatalities in auto accidents. If another driver was engaging in any of these negligent or reckless behaviors, he or she may be responsible for any damages.


In 2017, 36,338 people died as the result of falls, accounting for 21 percent of accidental deaths. In additions, falls were the top cause of preventable injuries, with 8,591,683 people injured.

If a fall resulted from a wet floor, uneven sidewalk, or faulty stairs or railings, the property owner may be held liable for damages.

Other Causes of Preventable Death

Other causes of unintentional death include:

  • Choking and suffocation: 6,946 deaths
  • Drowning: 3,709 deaths
  • Fire and burns: 2,902 deaths
  • Natural or environmental disasters: 1,750 deaths

Holding the Liable Party Accountable

To determine if another person or party is liable for the death of your loved one, the attorneys at our Irvine office will review your case and conduct a thorough investigation. There may be one person or party that contributed to the accident, or more than one party at fault.

During your case review, we can determine if a property owner, drug manufacturer, product manufacturer or supplier, or the driver of a vehicle should be responsible for damages.

Contact Our Practice

If your loved one died as a result of any of these preventable causes of death, you may pursue legal action against the person or party that contributed to the death. It is important to act quickly, as the statutes of limitation for wrongful death cases is two years. To find out if you have a case, schedule a case review. You can contact us online or call us in Irvine at (949) 644-3434.

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