The death of a loved one is an exceedingly difficult loss with which to cope. When that death is the result of medical negligence, that loss is compounded and you may feel frustrated, confused and angry because of what happened. Statistics from the Institute of Medicine show that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die in hospitals every year because of a preventable medical error. That’s right: that many die due to preventable errors by health care providers. And those numbers are believed to be even higher now. With this staggering amount of fatalities, it is easy to see why many surviving family members choose to investigate and if merited, file a claim of medical malpractice wrongful death against the negligent parties.

These cases can be complex and require a thorough understanding of the laws surrounding such a claim. If your loved one died as a result of a mistake on the part of a healthcare professional, the medical malpractice attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan can help you recover the justice and compensation you deserve.

To get started, fill out our FREE case evaluation form or call Goldberg Finnegan at (888) 213-8140 today.

Recovering Compensation from the Responsible Parties

When a surviving family member decides to take legal action against the healthcare professional(s) whose actions resulted in the death of their loved one, that person essentially has two options: they may file a wrongful death action or a survivor/survival action. In Maryland, you can bring both actions at the same time. The two claims have numerous similarities, but a few notable differences.

Wrongful Death Actions

In a wrongful death action, the plaintiff will typically establish that:

  • The patient died because of a medical error that should not have occurred;
  • Close family members have suffered compensable losses related to their loved ones death;
  • Those responsible for the medical error should compensate the surviving family members.

Damages for wrongful death actions may cover pain and suffering on the part of the deceased patient; loss of love, companionship or emotional support; financial costs of necessary medical care or lost services; and more.

Survivor/Survival Actions

In this type of claim, the plaintiff is usually the estate of the deceased person and will usually argue the following:

  • The patient died because of a medical error that should not have occurred;
  • The patient suffered and was in pain prior to death because of the error;
  • If the patient had survived, (s)he would have been able to sue the defendant for their alleged negligence;
  • Simply because the patient died does not erase the defendants responsibility to the patient;
  • The defendant should be required to pay damages to the deceased persons estate.

One difference between the two actions is that in a survivor action, plaintiffs are recognizing the idea that, had the patient lived, they would have had the right to file a lawsuit for what happened to them.

Medical Mistakes that May Cause Wrongful Death

When a patient loses their life while receiving professional medical treatment, the elements of malpractice may be present. Some of the most common errors that lead to wrongful death include:

  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Hospital mistakes
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to timely deliver
  • Prescription drug errors
  • Surgical errors

Regardless of the type of error, healthcare professionals have a duty to provide safe and competent care to their patients. When a careless/unreasonable mistake or a misguided action results in death, the estate and/or surviving family members have the right to take legal action.

Contact Our Firm for Claims of Wrongful Death due to Medical Malpractice

When you’ve lost a loved one, dealing with the pain and financial strain can be overwhelming on many levels.

The medical malpractice lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan are here to answer your questions and help you take the first step toward justice.

We always fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation available to you, and never accept any up-front fees.

Contact Goldberg Finnegan today by filling out our free case evaluation form, or by calling (888) 213-8140.