It is estimated that 44,000 to 98,000 people in the United States die each year due to medical errors that could have been prevented. If a person dies as a result of the negligence of another person it is called wrongful death. This includes death that results from medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to render care or treatment that meets the accepted standards of care.
For there to be a wrongful death that results from medical malpractice, there needs to be a death and that death needs to have resulted directly from the malpractice. It is not enough to show that a victim of medical malpractice died. It needs to be shown that the malpractice caused the death. Sometimes it is clear that the medical malpractice was the cause of the death. However, sometimes it can be difficult to prove.
There are many instances where the connection between medical malpractice and the death is not definite. For example, when a person died as a result of complications to lung cancer while s/he was being treated for a knee replacement. This does not mean that the knee replacement necessarily caused the patient’s death.
Instances where the medical malpractice clearly resulted in the patient’s death include if the patient was given the wrong drugs by mistake, the patient was not given life saving techniques or treatment, or the patient’s care was mismanaged, resulting in the patient’s death.
Wrongful death is a tort action against a person who can be held liable for the patient’s death. Usually, a wrongful death claim is a civil claim brought by the relatives of the decedent. In a wrongful death action the family does not sue for the harm that was inflicted on the decedent. Rather the family sues for damages that were caused to them resulting from the loss of their loved one. Such damages can include loss of: quality of life, love and emotional support, and financial support.
I your loved one has died as a result of the negligence of a health care professional, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.