There are many instances where someone can suffer a permanent injury or even death at their medical professionals‘ hands due to negligence. Whether it occurred due to prescribed treatment or surgical procedure, this type of occurrence is a solid basis s for a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits aren’t common, but they can help families of loved ones if the case is proven in court by a reputable attorney specializing in these types of cases.
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What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Usually, a relative will file a wrongful death lawsuit after an individual’s death, which is considered a civil suit. To qualify as wrongful death, the victim’s family member must prove that the person’s (defendant) ‘s actions were reckless or deliberate and resulted in the other person’s death in question.
These lawsuits require the services of a highly skilled attorney with plenty of experience to get the best results and a favorable ruling. The compensation is awarded for loss of companionship, expenses, and future needs to help soften the blow in the absence of the deceased loved one. In order to qualify to create a wrongful death case, it must be filed within one to three years of the date of the death, depending on which state the case is heard.
Recent Examples of Medical Wrongful Death Cases
One recent example of a wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the estate of Jessica DiCesare, who was in the care of the Barnstable County Correctional Facility and was denied the appropriate psychiatric services by the jail’s medical staff and hung herself in her cell. The mother of two died, and her family filed the suit against Correctional Psychiatric Services, who was responsible for her evaluations and care during her stay at the facility.
Another example in the news recently was regarding Palestine Howze, who was in the care of a nursing facility in Raleigh, North Carolina, while suffering from diabetes and bedsores. The suit claims she was denied care for her condition due to inaction by the staff. She eventually developed stage 4 bedsores that deteriorated into the bone requiring antibiotics. The facility still denied her access to medical care at a hospital, and she later died as a result.
When Family Members Should Pursue a Wrongful Death Case
If there has been a medically related incident where care was either withheld or provided with a lack of concern, care, or professionalism, there may be a chance to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important to remember that not everyone can file a wrongful death suit, and it can depend on the state’s laws. In general, however, these following people may be able to file the lawsuit.
- Executor or power of attorney
The best way to determine if you can file a wrongful death suit is to consult an attorney representing clients in your state or area and determine if you qualify. Once you’ve determined eligibility, the attorney will begin the process of gathering information relating to the person and the circumstances involved in the case. A significant amount of paperwork and information is necessary to prove these cases due to the situation’s serious nature. This case may take several years to resolve in some instances, which is essential for the family to understand before the process begins. This situation is especially true in high-profile cases or where there may be multiple parties involved at the time of the death.
How is Money Awarded?
There are a few factors the court takes into consideration when awarding money in a wrongful death lawsuit. Some factors they consider are future bills the party has or left to others, funeral expenses, medical expenses, legal fees, and other factors related to distress resulting from the deceased and the case at hand.
Although these cases may have varying amounts awarded, they are usually enough to compensate the family adequately to reduce the burden of expenses resulting from the death and help provide extra support for the immediate future.
Finding Legal Representation
Suppose there’s been a recent incident where a family member died due to someone else’s negligence. In that case, you need to find a reputable and experienced attorney specializing in these types of cases to begin immediately working on the case to get the best results. They can provide additional details about what to expect, the process the case must undergo, and what to do to help get the case moving along as soon as possible.
If you feel you may have a case, don’t hesitate to file it as quickly as possible. Secure all the facts and documentation you have and make an appointment for a consultation with an attorney who handles these types of cases. The faster you work, the sooner the possibility of compensation and a favorable ruling will be within the foreseeable future.