The Difference Between Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice

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Wrongful death and medical malpractice suits are two components of the law that many people may not understand. Malpractice suits fall under the auspices of personal injury claims, while state laws govern wrongful death suits. There are similarities in these cases. Wrongful deaths may be caused by medical malpractice. People need an attorney in their state to find the distinction. If a victim or family member needs to file a case, a wrongful death attorney from the Jones Firm can help when facts fall between both types.

What Are The Differences?

When someone dies because of another person’s negligence, a plaintiff may file a wrongful death claim, explains alllaw.com. Wrongful acts such as a car wreck, medical neglect, or violence are some types of wrongful deaths. A victim’s family can bring the case before the court. It can be anyone who is closest of kin.

Before medical professionals are licensed, they must take the Hippocratic Oath, a promise to “do no harm”, Wikipedia.org says. Even if they did not intentionally hurt a patient, being medically negligent is still doing harm. If a plaintiff needs to file a malpractice suit, he or she must prove that there was a breach in “duty of care”.

Medical professionals must do their job responsibly, since it can be dangerous and may cause patients harm, says the law. This can be confusing when plaintiffs are deciding on a medical malpractice or a wrongful death suit. There can only be one category filed in court. An attorney can help decide which category would be the best for the case.

Reasons For Wrongful Death Suits

These cases often include negligence in medical care that caused wrongful death. If someone dies because of another’s reckless driving, it can also be considered wrongful death. Construction accidents because of negligence and robbery deaths may be in the same category, as well as death from domestic abuse.

Reasons For Medical Malpractice

There are several reasons that can be considered medical malpractice, such as delayed or incorrect diagnoses. Typical errors include those in medication, surgery, or testing and screening. There have been suits filed for leaving surgical instruments in patients, and for botched surgical procedures. It is medical malpractice if patients are abandoned or suffer from a lack of care. Medical professionals must also ensure properly informed consent signatures and patient/family communication.

What Types Of Damages Are Permitted?

Plaintiffs usually get customary damages in a wrongful death claim that they may not get in a regular malpractice suit. Remuneration might include pain and suffering, loss of wages, or lost employment. Permitted damages in these suits vary from state to state.

The funeral and burial cost of the victim are usually allowable in both medical malpractice and wrongful death suits. If the victim had financial dependents, the court may grant loss of support damages for a certain time period. This would include support for a spouse, minor children, or a child in college.

How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Personal injury attorneys can act on behalf of a victim in a medical malpractice suit. They can gather evidence and prove that there was a “duty of care” breach. Malpractice that took the victim’s life may call for a wrongful death case, which can get compensation for the family. Wrongful deaths are devastating for the surviving loved ones. It is important that they have a legal advocate to explain their rights.

The aspects of these two types of legal cases are extremely complicated. Because some of the laws are overlapping, people should never proceed without legal counsel. There are many issues that must be addressed. Personal injury attorneys can fight for victim rights against insurance companies who do not want to pay. These cases can be won and people can get the compensation they deserve.