When a family loses a loved one, it can be a very difficult time for the people left behind. If it was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person, it is referred to as a wrongful death.
A wrongful death claim must include several elements in order to be successful. There must have been a death of a human being that was caused by another person’s negligence or an intent to cause harm. There must also be surviving family members who have suffered monetary injury as a result of the death, there must be a personal representative who is appointed to represent the estate and that person must initiate the claim.
Financial injury is usually the main measure of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In determining compensation for the deceased person’s family members, the court will often consider factors such as the age, character, earning capacity, life expectancy and health of the deceased person, among others.
A wrongful death may arise out of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional acts negligently and it results in harm to a patient.
There are several instances where medical malpractice can occur. These include surgical injuries, hospital errors and diagnosis errors.
Surgical injuries and hospital errors can be caused by poor planning before an operation, fatigue from working long shifts, failure to sterilize instruments, performing an incorrect procedure and other mistakes.
Diagnosis errors can happen with cancer cases, infections, cardiovascular events and other significant health concerns. These errors can also lead to wrongful death.
If a person has lost a loved one to wrongful death, an experienced attorney can review the circumstances and provide advice about next steps.