Differences Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
People die in accidents on a daily basis. A man dies while undergoing routine surgery. A woman is shot and killed by a robber. Several people eat a salad at a picnic and suffer fatal food poisoning. A drunk driver smashes into a car, killing the driver. A child is mauled to death by a neighbor’s dog.
While these can all be classified as wrongful death, not all are medical malpractice. There is a difference between these two terms that you should know about.
Medical malpractice is a specific type of wrongful death. It occurs when a doctor, nurse or other medical staff member is negligent during patient care and causes a person to suffer harm. Some common types of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, incorrect medication, surgical errors, birth defects and nursing home abuse. Medical malpractice does not always lead to death, though, which is why it cannot always be called wrongful death. Victims may suffer lifelong injuries and pain, though.
Also, not all wrongful death cases are caused by medical malpractice. There are many ways in which a person could die. These include car accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents, crime (such as murder), slip and fall cases, defective products and food poisoning. If a third party’s negligence, recklessness or wrongful behavior caused another person to die, then it is considered wrongful death.
If your loved one died due to wrongful death, you have the legal right to file a claim against the negligent party. This could be a doctor, nurse, property owner, motorist, criminal or manufacturer. Under Florida law, the wrongful death claim must be filed by the representative of the victim’s estate. If the victim died intestate, the court will appoint a representative. The claim is filed on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. Family members who may recover damages in a wrongful death case include the victim’s spouse, children and parents.
You can recover various damages in a Florida wrongful death case. The most common ones are funeral and burial expenses and lost wages. You can also recover loss of companionship, loss of support and guidance, loss of inheritance and mental and emotional pain. If your loved sought medical care before his or her death, then you can also recover medical expenses.
Keep in mind that whether your situation is a wrongful death or medical malpractice, you have just two years to file a claim. Once you surpass the two-year mark, you won’t be able to recover any financial compensation. Therefore, be sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible following the incident.
Seek Help for Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice does not always result in death, although it can cause serious and even debilitating injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured, get the legal help you need.
The Dade City & Zephyrhills medical malpractice attorneys at Mander Law Group can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Schedule a consultation today. Call (800) 557-0411 or fill out the online form.