When you lose a loved one due to medical malpractice, you may struggle with many emotions, confusion, and financial hardship. Many people suffering through loss need time to grieve, but they soon realize that they may have a legal recourse.
Legal recourse is the form of a wrongful death lawsuit that may allow you to collect money from the individual, individuals, or entity that caused the death of your loved one. These funds may be used to pay medical bills and other fees associated with his or her treatment and eventual passing.
Unfortunately, proving wrongful death in cases of medical malpractice can be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. This article will explain what you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits.
UNDERSTANDING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
While doctors and nurses are typically well-educated and trained, mistakes happen — and in some of these cases, negligence is to blame. When negligence results in death, you may have a wrongful death suit on your hands.
For example, the misdiagnosis of a condition due to negligence may result in malpractice. In order to prove misdiagnosis, you may need to demonstrate that the doctor should have been able to make a correct diagnosis if he or she was not acting negligently.
Doctors may also improperly treat a condition or administer anesthesia improperly. This could stem from misdiagnosis or be the result of a doctor simply not knowing how to administer a treatment. Surgical errors can happen too. These errors may include things like leaving surgical tools inside a patient, removing the wrong organs, or operating on the wrong part of the body.
In some cases, the wrongful death does not have to be the primary patient. For instance, a pregnant woman may come in for treatment and negligence or medical malpractice could lead to the death of her child.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN YOU COLLECT IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASES?
When you sue for damages in a wrongful death case, you need to know what you want to sue for. For example, medical bills are a common type of damage that people seek compensation for after a wrongful death. You may be able to receive compensation for funeral and burial costs as well.
In addition, you can sue for pain and suffering, which may include emotional damages. You may also sue for loss of companionship in some states.
Loss of financial support is another common damage associated with wrongful death cases. For example, children who were supported by their parents may have the ability to fight for lost funds due to the wrongful death of one or both of their parents.
Keep in mind that each state has its own damage caps after which an individual may not be able to collect additional compensation.
HOW CAN YOU PROVE WRONGFUL DEATH?
If you want to prove that your loved one was the victim of medical malpractice, your first step is to find an attorney who focuses on personal injury and wrongful death cases.
In court, you and your attorney must demonstrate that medical malpractice was involved in the death of your loved one. You will be asked to prove that the doctor or hospital acted negligently.
Next, you must be able to prove the costs of damages associated with the wrongful death case. Remember to hold on to evidence like medical bills and funeral bills, which can help build your case.
Additionally, the court will consider the individual filing the lawsuit. Typically, the court considers hearing cases from the closest living relatives of the deceased. For minors, a legal representative is typically awarded.
The Cochran Firm understands the problems you are experiencing. Call our office today at 1-800-THE-FIRM to set up a consultation with a lawyer who is ready to help defend your rights.
Originally written by The Cochran Firm Mid-South