Wrongful Death Due to Medical Negligence
Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Attorney Michigan
Southfield Fatal Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical errors have the potential to result in a patient’s death. As a family member of that patient, you have the right to file a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. We understand that surviving family members often face a whirlwind of negative emotions after a wrongful death occurs. That’s why Lipton Law pledges to offer our skills to family members for their medical malpractice cases. Reach out to us as soon as possible to find out if you have a medical malpractice case.
Holding Medical Negligence Accountable in Michigan
Types of Medical Malpractice
When a patient dies, it’s important to have wrongful death attorneys investigate the case thoroughly. Medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits aid families in holding negligent doctors accountable for their negligence. If a person dies and there is nobody held liable for their death, patient care will not improve.
That’s why it’s important to seek legal help if you or a loved one suffered injuries or illness due to medical negligence. Lipton Law is here to hold healthcare providers or a hospital responsible for your losses. Call us today for a free legal consultation about your wrongful death claim.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
Sometimes, medical malpractice and wrongful death can overlap to form specific types of medical malpractice cases. They are very different case types on their own. However, when a negligent doctor or hospital causes a patient to lose their life, these cases relate to each other.
When a patient dies, a family member or surviving spouse may file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation. Oftentimes, losing a family member comes with more than just emotional pain. Sometimes, the deceased person was the primary earner for their family. If they can no longer work and support their family, it could greatly impact the household.
In that case, families and spouses have the right to seek financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. While it will never fully make up for the loss, it can help prevent financial hardship and further loss.
Common Medical Errors Resulting in Patient Death
It’s important to understand that a seemingly small medical error can be disastrous.
While there are many different types of medical errors that can lead to death, some are more common than others, including:
Communication and Information Problems
Vocal and written communication errors can be deadly in a hospital setting. Miscommunication is possible between almost anyone in a hospital, including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and other staffers.
Additionally, it is very common for medical staff to fail to provide full information about diagnoses and treatments to their patients.
One survey from the Mayo Clinic states that approximately 42% of discharged patients can relay their diagnosis. Only 28% can recount their prescriptions, while 37% can say what those prescriptions are for. What’s more, a small 14% could list the side effects of those prescriptions.
Nothing good comes from poorly-informed patients.
In terms of errors made by medical professionals, medication errors are the most common type. These errors involve mistakes like giving incorrect prescriptions, incorrect dosages or failing to anticipate how the prescription will interact with other medications. Other medical error examples include anesthesia complications, hospital-acquired infections, and much more.
An incorrect diagnosis is a dangerous thing when it comes to medical care. Patients in dire need of quick care can suffer worse illnesses and injuries or even death without proper treatment. Their actual illnesses could worsen, and certain treatments can be fatal to certain patients.
Even a delay in proper diagnosis can be deadly. A patient’s medical state could deteriorate without treatment. This could lead to considerable pain and suffering until the patient receives proper care. Additionally, a delay in diagnosis could allow certain diseases to progress past the point of treatment.
Patient or Staffing Issues
Other issues include incorrect patient identification, failure to get patient consent, and poor informing of patients. Even staffing problems can contribute to medical malpractice lawsuits and wrongful death cases. Inadequate staffing increases the chances of medical professionals making errors.
Failure of Medical Equipment
As with other personal injury cases, technical and equipment failures can be devastating. If a hospital or technician fails to maintain their medical equipment, it could lead to injuries or death.
Poor Organizational Policies
Lastly, a lack of comprehensive policies could lead to a medical malpractice case. Examples include inadequate documentation policies, failing to carry out organizational standards, and inadequate training of health care providers.
Without the proper training and knowledge, health care providers might fail to properly perform their medical tasks. In turn, this puts patients at risk of illness, injury, and death.
Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Cases
When deciding to file a wrongful death suit, it’s important to know exactly how long you have to file. In Michigan, the wrongful death statute states that a personal representative of the deceased person has three years from the date of the medical negligence to file suit.
For medical malpractice cases, claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. Alternatively, plaintiffs have six months after they discover or should have discovered the malpractice.
Establishing Medical Malpractice in Michigan
Establishing medical malpractice can often be more difficult than establishing liability for other personal injury cases, such as car accidents. That’s why it’s important to work with a legal team that has extensive experience handling wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice.
The following basic elements are required to establish a wrongful death lawsuit when medical malpractice occurs:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship in which the doctor had a duty of care to the patient.
- The doctor, hospital, or health care provider breached that duty of care.
- The injury, illness, or death of the patient was caused by that breach.
- That breach also resulted in economic or non-economic damages suffered by the patient or the deceased’s estate.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Cases
Certain types of compensation are available for those filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Patients or their family members can sue for economic damages, non-economic, and even punitive damages.
Economic Damages for Wrongful Death Due to Medical Negligence
- Current and future medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medication and treatment costs
Non-Economic Damages for Wrongful Death Due to Medical Negligence
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
Punitive Damages for Wrongful Death Due to Medical Negligence
Punitive compensation aims to both punish liable parties and discourage others from making the same grave errors in the future. Generally, these damages are reserved for cases in which liable parties have acted in a particularly heinous manner.
Proving Liability for a Patient’s Wrongful Death
Liability is not automatically applied to the practicing doctor or nurse assigned to the patient. Sometimes, the hospital or hospital staff is to blame. The requirements for a wrongful death case are similar to those for medical malpractice.
To succeed in your wrongful death case, you will need to prove the following:
- The defendant owed a certain duty of care to the victim.
- The defendant violated that duty of care by exhibiting negligence.
- Their negligent act caused the death of the victim.
- Family members or loved ones of the deceased suffered damages resulting from their death.
Are Doctors Responsible for Patient Death?
It is certainly possible for a doctor to be responsible for the death of their patient. Under Michigan law, medical professionals are required to provide adequate care for their patients. When they exhibit carelessness or negligence in their jobs, it can lead to serious injury or even death.
If your loved one’s health care provider does any of the following, you could have a valid wrongful death lawsuit:
- Fails to properly diagnose the patient
- Fails to give the right diagnosis to their patient
- Misinterprets prior results from testing
- Fails to administer medical testing to the patient
- Makes errors in surgery or during procedures
- Prescribes the wrong medication to the patient
- Fails to provide appropriate follow-up care
- Discharges a patient from care too soon
Especially if these mistakes result in death to the patient, it is likely in the best interest of the family and loved ones to take legal action. Medical malpractice resulting in death can be very hard for families to live with. However, filing wrongful death claims can help ease the financial burden at the very least.
Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death in Michigan?
Absolutely. If you feel that patient safety was compromised and resulted in the death of your loved one, you have the right to pursue a wrongful death case. Tragic events such as these deserve proper justice, and Lipton Law is here to help provide it. With our help, you can explore all possible legal options through a free case review. According to Michigan state law, the time limit for filing wrongful death lawsuits is three years after the negligence occurred. As long as you take legal action within this time frame, you may be able to recover compensation.
Who Can File a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Many people wonder who has the legal authority to file a wrongful death case if their loved one died due to medical or diagnostic errors. A wrongful death lawyer in Michigan can help certain people file lawsuits on behalf of their deceased loved one.
Loved ones who qualify to file include the following:
- Family of the deceased (siblings, parents, children, spouses, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, etc.)
- If the victim had a will, any person named as an heir of the estate might also file a lawsuit.
- It’s important to note, however, that the family must first agree on who will be the personal representative of the victim’s estate. This person filing suit will ensure that the best interests of the family and the victim’s estate are at the forefront of the case.
Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Southfield
At Lipton Law, we understand that the loss of a loved one is often a shocking, very saddening blow. On top of trying to manage your grief, you might also be saddled with numerous mounting expenses. The medical professional responsible for the death of your loved one shouldn’t get out of the situation unscathed. After all, you deserve fair compensation for your losses.
If you feel you might have a case, contact our Southfield personal injury firm today for a free consultation. Contacting an attorney with us establishes an attorney-client relationship, which means any information you give us remains confidential. Call today at 248-557-1688 to schedule.