When someone dies because of an act of medical malpractice, those responsible for that death should be held accountable. In many instances, though the medical provider may lose their license to practice medicine, they are often not charged with a criminal offense. Even if they are charged with a crime, it does not provide financial relief for the family who is left with grief as well as costly medical bills. In fact, they will likely be charged for the surgical procedure or treatment that cost them their loved one.
Medical malpractice is all too common. However, they are difficult cases to pursue and when the malpractice results in death, surviving family members are best served by hiring a wrongful death lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about medical matters.
When can a hospital be held liable for the death of a patient?
When a patient dies while in the care of a hospital, it is not necessarily anyone’s fault. The patient may have had an unrecoverable condition or developed life-threatening symptoms that could not be addressed by even the best hospital on the planet. In other cases however, if the hospital provided substandard care, they may be held liable for the patient’s death. Specifically, if a wrongful death lawyer can prove that the hospital was negligent in one or more significant ways, the deceased’s survivors may wish to proceed with a lawsuit. Examples include the insufficient training of employees, having nurses or doctors on staff whose medical licenses have been revoked or are expired, a failure to properly maintain critical equipment, etc.
When can a doctor be held liable for the death of a patient?
This too comes down to proving negligence. If a doctor does not provide the same level and quality of care to their patient that another doctor who is reasonably proficient would provide under the same circumstances, the doctor may be held liable for medical malpractice. Common examples of medical malpractice include committing errors during surgery such as removing the wrong body part, causing internal bleeding, making errors in prescribing medication, misdiagnosing a condition, delaying a diagnosis, and neglecting to take action when it is required to save the life of their patient or their patient’s baby during childbirth.
When can a nurse be held liable for the death of a patient?
As with other medical providers, nurses play a critical role in the health and welfare of a patient. If they should be negligent in administering the right medications and the correct dosage amounts, they may fatally harm their patient. If they do not respond to critical symptoms in a timely manner, the patient’s condition may become irreversible and fatal.