Losing a loved one is a painful process. It can be challenging to navigate this grief, especially when their death should have been prevented. If you are considering suing a hospital for wrongful death, it is important to gain an understanding of the process and seek assistance from a qualified and compassionate attorney.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital?
A wrongful death claim, specifically against a hospital, involves the belief that the death of a patient was caused by circumstances within the control of the hospital or medical professionals. This wrongful death may be due to one of many possible errors, including negligence, wrong diagnoses, or poor decisions made by those you trusted to care for your loved one as you do. It is important to note that this is not the same as medical malpractice, which can result in injury or death due to negligence.
By deciding to sue the hospital, you can pursue pain and suffering as well as prevent a similar situation from happening to another family.
Who can file a lawsuit for wrongful death?
Many of us have loved ones that include both friends and family members, however, it is important to understand who can legally file a wrongful death lawsuit. Those with a familial relationship such as the following are generally able to file a wrongful death claim:
This can vary from state to state, and it is important to consult an experienced attorney to determine your legal rights in pursuing a case.
Who is liable in a wrongful death case?
Like other wrongful death cases (personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, etc), the responsible party in a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital may not be clear. You may choose to sue the hospital, but they may not accept responsibility if the death of the patient was a result of a mistake made by a medical professional.
In some situations, physicians may have enough insurance to cover a wrongful death settlement. Nurses and other medical professionals may work as contract employees, and therefore would be responsible for the settlement, not the hospital. However, there may also be cases where the hospital itself was negligent in how it managed its people, policies, and procedures.
You may be considering another option…suing both the hospital and the medical professional involved. It is important to recognize that choosing to sue both parties may be of more detriment to your case than choosing to sue just one party. This is because you have the potential to have multiple defense attorneys involved in trying to suppress your case and win on behalf of their client.
By working with an attorney who has experience handling wrongful death cases, you have someone to offer counsel during an emotional time and put in the work to uncover which party failed to provide the required standard of care to their patient. With all of these considerations in mind, here are some instances where a hospital may be the responsible party:
- People: Negligence by medical professionals directly employed by the hospital may have resulted in issues with surgery or medications, complications with patients, and a failure to mention potential issues or warning signs they see in their patients.
- Policies and Procedures: A failure to institute standards regarding cleanliness and safety, competency in staff members, or not ensuring the hospital is maintaining the required number of staff to properly tend to patients.
What damages might you recover from a hospital wrongful death lawsuit settlement?
There may be a few different reasons you want to pursue a wrongful death case. Perhaps to see justice done and prevent another patient’s death? To assist with the grieving process? One major reason to pursue this type of case is to seek recompense for the emotional and fiscal impact on your and your family’s lives.
It is important that the loved ones of a victim of wrongful death not have to suffer due to a hospital’s negligence. While grieving is an essential part of coping with loss, you may also receive financial relief for the pain and suffering caused to you by their death.
An awarded settlement may help bring relief from lost wages of the deceased, medical bills, funeral/burial costs, etc. It may also help with the restoration of an individual or family dealing with the loss of the relationship of their loved one.
Next Steps: Contact An Attorney Who Understands
The staff at our law firm includes wrongful death attorneys who understand personal loss and are ready and willing to extend their compassion and expertise to assist you through this process. We hope to have the opportunity to help your family find restoration after your loss and we desire to see your case settled and see you receive financial compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
Contact us today for a free consultation.