Wrongful death is a civil claim, based upon statutory law, brought by a decedent’s survivors against a person whose negligence caused the death of the victim. This cause of action is designed to compensate spouses, children, and parents for loss of financial and other support, as well as grief from their loss. Similarly, a survival action, based on a common law principle that justice should not be denied an individual whose death precludes bringing suit him/herself, may be brought by the decedent’s estate for pain and suffering of the victim and past expenses caused by negligence. If you have questions about wrongful death, please speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys today.
Wrongful death in medical malpractice
The chief causes of death from malpractice are often seemingly mundane: carelessness or preventable errors that violate accepted standards of care. Still, the resulting death is no less serious or tragic. Surviving relatives can justifiably seek compensation for their injuries sustained due to a victim’s loss of life, and the estate can seek compensation for the injuries suffered by the victim.
The most frequent causes of patient death due to malpractice are:
- Anesthesia errors—the patient receives an overdose of an anesthetic, or has an allergic reaction to it, because preoperative records lack proper information
- Surgical errors—poor operative technique causes fatal intraoperative or postoperative complications
- Birth injuries—the fetus dies from lack of proper prenatal observation, from improper use of obstetrical instruments, loss of oxygen to the brain, or other traumatic events during labor and delivery
- Misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose—lapses which allow cancers to develop to an incurable state, aneurisms to burst, or imminent heart attacks to be overlooked
- Medication errors—delivery of the wrong medicine, medicine in the wrong concentration or dosage, or of a medication which the patient’s record shows he or she has a severe allergic reaction
- Emergency Room errors— brought about by failing to appreciate the severity of the patient’s presentation in the E.R. environment.
Experienced Maryland and Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorneys protect your rights with compassion and expertise in wrongful death cases
A wrongful death suit is an emotional, heart-wrenching experience. The attorneys at Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. have earned a stellar reputation for high-quality legal service tempered with compassion for our clients. To arrange a consultation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys, call us at 410-234-1000 or contact us online today. We have offices conveniently located in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland.