If you believe you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice or wrongful death, contact our Houston medical malpractice attorney to learn more.
Every day, millions of people go to doctors and hospitals. Many people receive a diagnosis or undergo a procedure only to discover that something went wrong. In many of these cases, the issue is not simply a poor outcome, but rather is medical malpractice or wrongful death.
Medical malpractice can certainly lead to a wrongful death, but does that mean they are the same thing? In today’s post, we discuss the differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death.
What is Medical Malpractice?
When we seek medical care, we all hope that the outcome will be positive and that we will feel better after receiving treatment. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. And even more sad is the fact that some poor outcomes are the result of negligence on the part of a healthcare provider or facility.
Medical malpractice encompasses a variety of acts and omissions that are negligent. Some of the most common examples include:
- A doctor fails to diagnose a serious medical condition or misdiagnosis one.
- A doctor fails to order a C-section in a timely manner resulting in birth injuries.
- Surgical tools are left behind inside the patient after surgery.
- A surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body.
- A doctor fails to diagnose cancer, causing it to spread.
- You are prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dose.
- While in a hospital, you develop bedsores.
- While in a hospital, you develop sepsis.
These are just some common examples of medical malpractice. There are numerous possible ways that healthcare providers may deviate from the standard of care and cause you harm.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Medical malpractice can lead to wrongful death, but not every wrongful death is the result of medical malpractice. In the legal industry, a wrongful death is defined as the death of one person due to the negligence or misconduct of someone else. Therefore, a wrongful death can result from numerous situations, including auto accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and more.
In terms of medical malpractice, a wrongful death occurs when the acts or omissions of a healthcare provider lead to the death of a patient. For example, if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer and it spreads and the patient dies, his or her loved ones may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the doctor.
Other examples of medical malpractice-related wrongful death include:
- A surgeon perforates an organ or blood vessel during surgery.
- A healthcare provider administering the wrong medication or dose through an IV.
- An anesthesiologist administers too much anesthesia due to a pharmacy mix-up.
- A surgeon performs an unnecessary procedure on a patient due to a mix-up in medical records.
- A nursing home patient develops bedsores that are not indicated or treated by nursing home staff, and as a result, the patient develops a severe infection and dies.
As you can see, there are many ways that medical negligence can lead to a wrongful death. This list is not exhaustive, and there are numerous possible scenarios that involve medical malpractice and wrongful death.
Filing a Medical Malpractice or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you or someone you love has been harmed by medical negligence, or has died, you have rights. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuit against the person(s) responsible for the harm you are suffering.
Even though you are the victim, as the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit) you have the burden of proving your claims. That means that you must prove:
- You had a doctor-patient relationship with the healthcare provider
- The healthcare provider was negligent in his or her acts or omissions
- That said negligence caused your injuries or the death
- That your injuries resulted in financial damages
Damages refers to how the medical malpractice or wrongful death has damaged you. This can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Funeral or burial expenses
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim before his or her death
- Emotional losses due to the death of a loved one
If you are a victim of medical malpractice or wrongful death, you can file a lawsuit against those responsible in an effort to recover compensation for these damages.
Why Contact a Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice and wrongful death are complex and specific areas of personal injury law. As a victim, you are feeling the weight of your situation, and have the burden of proving your claims. This can be overwhelming.
That is one reason why it is important to work with a skilled Houston medical malpractice attorney at Brown, Christie & Green. A skilled attorney will help you build your case and demand justice for you and your family. Another reason to work with Brown, Christie & Green is because we specialize in medical negligence cases. Our attorneys and staff are equipped with the knowledge and resources that you need to get justice and the compensation that you deserve.
Learn more about how we can help you with your medical malpractice or wrongful death claim by calling 1-800-600-4210. Or, you can also reach us online by completing our contact form. We offer a free consultation to every potential client, so you have nothing to lose!