When a doctor acts in an irresponsible manner and someone gets killed as a result, the family of the deceased likely can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the physician. This can be a way for the family to be compensated for their loss, including compensation for medical bills, emotional distress, lost wages, and more. However, not many people fully understand how medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits work. After all, most people will go their entire lives without ever finding themselves in this kind of situation. This guide will explain everything you need to know.
Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death
There are two primary forms a wrongful death involving medical malpractice take. The lawsuit can be filed in response to:
- The negligence of a doctor or nurse
- The negligence of the hospital itself
This means you can file a lawsuit against either the physician or the hospital. However, it is very uncommon for lawsuits against the hospital to be successful. This is because most doctors are independent contractors, rather than employees. This means the hospital is not held responsible for what they do.
However, some doctors are considered employees. If this is the case, then the hospital might be responsible. Likewise, any other employees of the hospital who are responsible for causing the death may lead to the hospital being successfully sued. If the hospital is going to receive a lawsuit, it will usually be due to some administrative failing, such as failing to verify the competence of contracted physicians, have poor safety protocols, or presenting an unsafe environment.
It is much more likely that the physician will be held responsible for the death. Wrongful death lawsuits against doctors, nurses, or surgeons are usually much more successful. A lawsuit may be an appropriate response if the physician does not exhibit the level of competence that you would expect from a medical professional. For example, if a doctor prescribes the wrong medicine and the patient dies as a result, that would likely lead to a very solid wrongful death claim. Other examples include:
- Reaching the wrong diagnosis
- Injuring a patient during a medical examination or procedure
- Failing to recommend the right medical procedure
- Mistakes during surgery
Medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits are very common. If you think the physician of a loved one directly caused his or her death with negligent actions, the first thing you should do is speak with a wrongful death attorney. It is best to speak with an attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in Lakewood FL from David & Philpot, P.L., who has this experience.