Two areas of the law that confuse many people are medical malpractice and wrongful death. Unlike typical personal injury claims that have a broader scope, wrongful death claims are governed by the state laws. Both wrongful death and medical malpractice cases can be so similar. In many cases, the lines are blurred between the two. In many instances, medical malpractice can be the cause of wrongful death. However, you must understand that these are two distinct areas in Arizona law. A Phoenix wrongful death attorney can help you to determine how to file a case where aspects fall into both categories.
Distinguishing Between Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice
A wrongful death claim is when a person dies due to someone else’s negligent actions. Wrongful death comes from wrongful acts either by violence, a medical professional’s neglect, a car accident, or any other act. The plaintiff’s closest surviving relative is typically the one who brings the case to court. This can be a sister, aunt, uncle, parent, or child.
Medical malpractice has a degree of negligence that falls into the hands of the medical practitioner. Each doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath before they are licensed. This oath says that they will do no harm to their patients. Though they may not directly harm a person, their negligence can cause harm. To file a malpractice claim, you must be able to prove that the “duty of care” was breached. What is “duty of care?”
The law expects all medical professionals to act responsibly when performing any acts that could cause harm to others. However, some find it confusing because wrongful death can be classified as medical malpractice too. You can only file under one category though. So, it is important to distinguish where the case would be best allocated.
Typical Wrongful Death Cases
Arizona wrongful death attorneys see a large variety of these types of cases, which include the following situations:
•Medical Care That Was Negligent and Cased Wrongful Death
•Reckless Driving That Leads to the Death of Another Person
•Construction Scaffolding Improperly Constructed That Caused a Death
•Robbery Victim That Was Shot and Killed During the Altercation
•Domestic Abuse Victims Where Injuries Were Deadly
Typical Medical Malpractice Cases
There are numerous circumstances that can be labeled as medical malpractice. A few are:
•Not Diagnosing or Delaying A Correct Diagnosis
•Errors in Medication
•Errors in Surgery
•Testing and Screening Errors
•Lack of Care
•Errors in Communication
•Not Using Medical Instruments Properly
•Leaving Surgical Instruments In A Patient After Surgery
•Poor or Incorrectly Performed Surgical Procedures
•Lack of Informed Consent
Types Of Damages Allowed
When dealing with a medical malpractice, wrongful death claim, you can typically recover customary damaged that would not be available in a typical malpractice case. This can include lost earnings, loss of employment, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Each state has allowable damages in a wrongful death case, and they differ greatly.
Added to the standard medical malpractice damages are the costs of the funeral and burial of the deceased when it is a wrongful death claim too. Any members of the deceased’s family that they provided financial support to will be entitled to loss of support damages for a period of time. Loss of support damages will be awarded when the family member can prove their financial support previously. A child in college or a spouse may get this compensation.
In a medical malpractice case, the attorney will pursue the case on the victim’s behalf. We gather evidence and make sure that we can prove there was a breach of the “duty of care.” If the victim has deceased, then we will file an Arizona’s wrongful death suit, which may give compensation to the grieving family. It is very difficult to go through a wrongful death suit, especially after losing a loved one. Having someone on your side and in your corner is imperative.
Keep in mind that the laws on these types of cases are very complex. Because there is a crossover between the two different types of law, it can make it difficult for you to know how to proceed. There is much at stake in either kind of case, which means it is better to have a skilled attorney to help you collect compensation. The insurance company does not want to pay you, which is why you need an Arizona defender that can help you with the right approach.
Hiring Legal Representation
At the law offices of Lamber Goodnow, we have a 99 percent rate on won or settled cases. We know how difficult it can be dealing with the loss of a love one or a serious personal injury. We strive to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve. According to Law Magazine, we are the number one injury team in this country. Call us today for a free consultation. There is no fee unless you win!