Wrongful Death Lawyer
When someone dies as a result of errors committed by a doctor or hospital, the person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. State law governs how these cases are decided, but generally, when the court rules for the estate, the award goes to the beneficiaries. Determining whether the medical professionals were negligent can be a complicated question.
When Are Hospitals Liable for a Wrongful Death?
The two most common ways that hospitals incur liability for wrongful death are the negligence of employees and negligence in operations.
- The hospital may be liable if the doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and other care providers who work directly for the hospital behave negligently or fail to provide an acceptable standard of care.
- The hospital may also be liable if it doesn’t provide appropriate supervision for employees, doesn’t maintain equipment properly, or doesn’t properly manage the medical staff, for example.
When Are Hospitals Not Liable for a Wrongful Death?
While hospitals are responsible for their employees, they don’t carry the same liability for independent contractors. For example, doctors may have privileges to see patients or perform surgeries at the hospital without being directly employed by the institution. In that case, the hospital has less liability for mistakes the doctors make in caring for their patients.
What Kinds of Errors Lead to a Wrongful Death Suit?
Medicine is such a complex field that many different kinds of errors are possible. Here are a few of the most common that may lead to a patient’s death, creating liability for the hospital.
- Failure to diagnose a patient’s condition correctly
- Errors while caring for a pregnant woman or while delivering a baby
- Medication mistakes while prescribing or administering drugs
- Surgical errors
Nurses can commit medical errors just as doctors can, as they go about caring for patients. Some of the common areas of nursing malpractice involve personal care duties.
- Failure to appropriately monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Errors and omissions when entering information into the patient’s medical records
- Mistakes in administering medication errors at the correct time and in the right dosage
- Failure to notice, record, or report symptoms and complaints to the doctor
What Should I Do If My Loved One Died as a Result of Medical Negligence?
Because wrongful death lawsuits are governed by state law, you should seek out an experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer in Trenton, NJ. The professional can help you make a realistic assessment of your case and understand the process involved in suing a doctor or hospital.
Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and suing a hospital for wrongful death.