If you’ve ever been the victim of medical malpractice, you know how one mistake can change a person’s life forever; you can end up with a lifelong injury or illness that impact the way you live going forward. However, what happens when a medical malpractice error causes the death of a loved one? Is this common? And what should you do about it?
A study by the Institute of Medicine estimated that as many as 98,000 people die every year because of preventable medical errors in the United States, at a cost of $29 billion. If the Centers for Disease Control were to include preventable medical errors as a category, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in the entire nation.
These alarming statistics reveal that you are certainly not alone in your pain of losing a loved one to a medical mistake—but the frequency of serious medical errors still doesn’t make any death tolerable.
Look to the Law to Hold Negligent Health Professionals Accountable
If you suspect that your loved one died because of medical malpractice, and your attorney agrees, the proper course is to file a wrongful death claim stemming from the medical malpractice.
Because your family member is no longer alive, your lawyer will let you know who the heirs would be; they need to be listed as plaintiffs on the lawsuit. With a medical malpractice suit, any heirs would not be entitled to receive compensation for their loved one’s pain and suffering that occurred before their death. They could, however, receive compensation if their loved one’s death directly caused some type of economic hardship for the family. This could mean that person was responsible for earning a large portion of the family’s income; even if they didn’t work, the courts will determine the economic value for someone who stayed home with the children and ran the household.
Wrongful death medical malpractice cases can seem confusing, so it is essential that you hire an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who will explain everything to you and make you feel at ease. Call 818-716-6400 to contact the Woodland Hills medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Office of John P. Rosenberg today for a free consultation.