Unexpectedly losing a loved one can be overwhelming on every member of the family. However, the grieving process can be especially devastating when the death is caused by avoidable medical malpractice or error. Medical malpractice cases often involve carelessness, medical mistakes or intentional acts of doctors, nurses, dentists, psychiatrist, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and other health care providers. When the medical mistake kills the patient but the negligent or intentional actions are not viewed as a crime, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed by surviving family members.
Common Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice wrongful death can happen for numerous reasons and situations. The most common types of medical error cases involve:
- Emergency room mistake
- Surgical mistakes
- Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosed health conditions including cancer
- Anesthesia Malpractice
- Malpractice during Childbirth
- Pharmaceutical medication errors
- Misread x-rays and tests
- HMO misconduct
- Lack of oxygen
- Medical device defect
- Surgical implant failure
- Adverse medication reaction
- Experimental treatments or medicines that lead to death
Any serious mistake during an emergency room visit can cause deadly consequences, especially when the physician or other healthcare provider makes a medication error, fails to order specific diagnostic tests, or through some type of lab error or paperwork mistake. In many situations, the emergency room is understaffed or inadequately trained. Other times, the patient is prematurely discharged or never admitted to the hospital for further testing.
Sometimes, specific actions taken by the medical staff could have prevented the wrongful death. Without proper diagnosis early on, any progressing medical condition can cause the patient irreparable harm to their health. Medical malpractice errors that kill the patient are often a result of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or lack of diagnosis. Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- Cardiac conditions including heart attack or heart disease
- Gynecological condition
- Gastrointestinal (GUI) disorder
- Psychiatric disorders
- Pulmonary embolism
- Internal bleeding
- Bacterial meningitis
Filing a Lawsuit
While no money can alleviate the grief and pain of losing a loved one, the decedent’s surviving family members have the legal right to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Filing a suit can alleviate the financial burden of losing a member of the family.
The claim can recover numerous expenses including medical bills generated by medical error, lost inheritance, lost wages and loss of any future financial gain no longer provided by the decedent. In addition, the lawsuit can seek non-economic damages for pain, suffering and emotional anxiety. Family members can also obtain recompense for funeral and burial expenses and funds to cover loss of companionship, love, leadership and support.
To be successful in obtaining compensation in a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members, or their legal counsel, must prove specific elements of the case. These elements include:
- A human being has died by the intentional action or negligence of another
- Surviving family members filing the claim or suit are suffering monetary injury because of the death
- A personal representative has been appointed to handle the estate of the decedent
Wrongful death cases are fought and won using the state’s tort law. However, civil action procedures involving tort law can be confusing. Because of that, surviving family members will hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in wrongful death claims.
Hiring an Attorney
Patients place their trust in doctors, nurses, surgeons and other medical professionals and facilities to improve their health. When the negligent or reckless actions of the medical staff cause the demise of the patient, they need to be held legally liable for compensation to the surviving family.
Most deaths caused by medical malpractice could have been prevented. The only effective solution for holding negligent medical professionals accountable for their reckless actions is to hire a skilled personal injury attorney to file a timely wrongful death lawsuit.
The Chicago Injury Center Atttorneys have extensive experience in representing family members through a lawsuit or claim and handle every aspect of the case. Our experienced attorneys can relieve your family of financial burdens that are interfering with your grieving process. We accept medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means your family is provided instant legal counsel and representation without the need to pay us any upfront fees. Call to schedule a no obligation, initial consultation to evaluate your claim.