This question generally arises due to the death of a loved one while he or she was in the care of a hospital.  Injuries and illness are a part of life, and most people will experience one or the other requiring hospitalization at some point. Moreoever, we will discuss the details regarding wrongful death lawsuits.

wrongful death lawsuits, hospital oversight

Hospitals are a place where people go to get treatment in a safe and skilled environment.  Unfortunately, mistakes happen, and misconduct is not unheard of.  When mistakes or misconduct cause premature death, the surviving loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the hospital.  In addition to the hospital, wrongful death lawsuits may also name:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Specialists
  • Therapists
  • Hospital staff

Wrongful death lawsuits involving hospitals most often include the element of medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice means that a healthcare provider was negligent in his or her care, and that the care deviated from accepted medical standards.  Such deviations or negligence may include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Failure to properly prescribe medications
  • Inappropriate administration of medication
  • Negligence in caring for the patient
  • Improper hygiene or infection control
  • Surgical errors

These are some of the most common elements of medical malpractice that factor into wrongful death lawsuits.  There are many possible scenarios, mistakes, and types of misconduct that may contribute to medical malpractice or wrongful death.

Like other forms of personal injury claim, what will determine if you can sue a hospital for wrongful death is your ability to prove that negligence occurred.  Sometimes, unfortunate events lead to illness or injury worsening or leading to death, but not all such cases constitute wrongful death.  This is why it is so important to speak with an attorney before filing a wrongful death claim to ensure that you have a strong case.  Contact Brown & Brothers to learn more.

Common Questions before Suing a Hospital for Wrongful Death

Once you and your attorney have established that there are grounds for a wrongful death claim, you may have questions about what you can expect.  Here are a few common questions that you may have, and answers that could help you move through the process.  Consider the following:

  • Who can sue a hospital for wrongful death? A wrongful death claim can be filed by a surviving spouse, parent, or child. Other family members may be able to sue, depending on their relationship to the victim and other factors like applicable state laws.
  • Why should you sue a hospital for wrongful death? There are two primary reasons why hospitals are named as defendants in wrongful death claims.
    • First, they are named if the hospital itself is negligent, such as in their hiring, training, or staffing. Hospitals are liable for their staff, including healthcare providers, support staff, technicians, even those not directly related to medical care.
    • Second, they are named if the healthcare provider’s individual malpractice insurance is not sufficient to cover the damages listed in the claim. For example, if your loved one died as a result of a surgical error, then the surgeon and the hospital where the surgery was performed may be named as defendants, which will open access to more malpractice insurance and recovery options.
  • What damages are awarded in wrongful death lawsuits? If you file a wrongful death claim, there are several damages that you may be able to pursue, including:
    • Reimbursement of medical bills
    • Funeral expenses
    • Lost wages or income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • How much can I get in damages in wrongful death lawsuits? The amount of damages that a plaintiff is awarded varies depending on the case, the jury, and the final judgment. It is nearly impossible to estimate the value of a claim without an in depth review of your case.
  • How long does a wrongful death claim take? Wrongful death and medical malpractice claims can take some time to move through the legal system. There are several steps in the lawsuit process, including discovery (gathering information), filing motions, negotiating, and then going to trial.

Get Help with Your Wrongful Death Claim

If you are wondering whether you can sue a hospital for wrongful death, the best first step you can take is contacting Brown & Brothers to speak with one of our attorneys.  Our team is experienced managing a variety of personal injury and wrongful death claims, including those involving medical malpractice, birth injuries, or nursing home abuse.

To get started, fill out our online form and one of our team members will get in touch with you to set up your free consultation.

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