We visit our doctors and other medical professionals during some of the most vulnerable times in our lives. Whether we have been feeling sick for a while or a major medical emergency arises, these are the people we trust to keep us safe, healthy, and alive. Unfortunately, this trust can be breached when a healthcare provider acts negligently and fails to provide the standard of care that a patient deserves. In a worst-case scenario, the end result can be a tragic death that could have been prevented.
What is Classified as Wrongful Death?
The death of an individual can be classified as an instance of wrongful death if it was caused by negligence or intentional harm from someone else. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter, so the individual being charged in the case may or may not also be convicted in a criminal trial. For example, a doctor could be found not guilty of any criminal charges relating to the death of a patient, but the same doctor could be found guilty of wrongful death in a civil trial. The two matters carry a lot of similarities, but civil trials require a lower standard of proof when it comes to the evidence presented.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit against a Healthcare Provider?
Yes. If you have tragically lost a spouse or a close loved one due to the negligence of any type of healthcare provider or medical institution, you do have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for the damages you have experienced. All healthcare providers are expected to deliver a certain standard of care to their patients. When quality healthcare is not delivered for any reason, it is the patient who suffers the consequences, which can so easily go from small complications to life-threatening issues.
Whether a doctor is careless and fails to order important screening tests or a surgeon is in a hurry and leaves a piece of medical equipment inside the patient, these acts of negligence are never acceptable, especially when the life of an individual is on the line. Every patient deserves to have a healthcare provider who is fully present and ready to help.
How Do I Receive Compensation for Damages?
During the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit, your lawyer will help you to determine all the damages you have suffered because of the tragic death of your spouse or loved one. Damages that are eligible for compensation can include:
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim
- Medical expenses associated with the injury that resulted in death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Current and future income lost from the deceased individual
- Loss of care, love, and companionship
- Loss of consortium (damages experienced by a spouse or close relative)
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against a Healthcare Provider?
If you have reason to believe that the death of your loved one was a direct result of someone else’s medical negligence, it is important to start taking note of all the information you have access to. Go ahead and write down the dates, times, and location of any medical treatment. Make note of the names of doctors, nurses, surgeons, or any other medical professionals who came in contact with the patient. Listen to what people around you are saying, and write down anything you think could become important later on when you are trying to prove your case.
Unfortunately, if a healthcare provider displays negligence or carelessness while treating a patient, they typically will not come right out and tell everyone what they have done. This is why it becomes imperative to have an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side. Your lawyer will guide you through the following steps.
- Proving that the healthcare provider exhibited negligent behavior. In order to prove this, your attorney will have a medical expert in the same field carefully analyze every step of the care that was administered.
- Proving that the patient died because of the healthcare provider’s negligence. This is another area where the medical expert will play an important role in determining that the patient should have lived, if the proper medical care had been provided properly.
- Establishing your damages. Your attorney will help you determine a monetary amount for the damages you have suffered. In order to get what you are asking for through your wrongful death lawsuit, you need to prove that you have suffered losses because of the negligence.
Where Can I Go For Help With My Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of your spouse or loved one, the attorneys at Ross Feller Casey are here to help. The firm is widely regarded as among the nation’s top wrongful death lawyers, having won numerous record-setting recoveries. Ross Feller Casey has a team of leading doctors right on staff to help litigate complex medical wrongful death cases. Contact one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys today for a free case review.