Dealing with the death of a loved one is brutal, no matter the circumstances. This being said, things can become extra confusing when your loved one has died due to hospital negligence. When you have proof or suspicion that negligence was the cause of your loved one’s death, there seems to be insurmountable work ahead of you. The following will break down the things that need to happen in the event of wrongful death from hospital negligence.
Reach out to an Attorney
Wrongful death occurs when a death is caused by a negligent, willful, or wrongful act. If wrongful death is suspected, the first thing you need to do is reach out to an attorney. Wrongful death suits can be filed without the help of a lawyer, however, the process is complex and very strict. If you miss one required step, you run the risk of having your entire case dismissed.
Attorney Specifics to Keep in Mind
When researching an attorney to reach out to, make sure you select someone who specializes in wrongful death or negligence cases. It takes years of specialized experience to successfully navigate each area of the law. Beyond this, you want to make sure that the person you reach out to is practicing law in the state that the incident occurred in. This is because each state has slightly different laws and processes.
What Constitutes Negligence in a Hospital?
Of course, every case is different. To fully understand how your circumstances will be viewed by the legal system, it is best to seek out the advice of an attorney. This being said, there are a few common guidelines that might apply to your scenario. Negligence in a medical environment refers to the failure to uphold the standards of care. This can include:
- Giving a false diagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Failure to recognize symptoms
- Ignoring or misinterpreting lab results
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Improper medication dosage
- Failure to order proper testing
- Failure to consider patient medical history
- Failure to follow up or early discharge
Long Term Hospital Care Considerations
If your situation, in particular, involves the neglect or abuse of an elder in a nursing home or long term care hospital, it can be more challenging to express your concerns. Each state has rigid laws regarding the care of elders, which can help you. For example, the advice at this website explains the Nursing Home Act of Illinois and the strict guidelines regarding what sort of treatment is unacceptable and illegal. It also highlights the common signs that indicate these laws have been ignored.
Coronavirus-Related Death Considerations
If your situation is related to coronavirus, you will likely have to deal with more intense news coverage of your case. The cases involving wrongful death and COVID-19 are new, and the precedents across the country are not yet set in stone. Most of the cases emerging in this context involve the implication that necessary steps of precaution were not taken by facilities to ensure that the risk of coronavirus spreading and infecting those within was minimized.
Coping with the death of someone is never easy. This being said, when you suspect that their death was caused by the negligence of a person, facility, or company, the struggle can be even more daunting. It is important to know that you are not alone. There are people out in the world who will help you seek justice and ensure that the same situation doesn’t happen again.