Thanks to advancements in medical science and technology, many procedures that once carried a high risk of complications are far safer than ever before. Unfortunately, medical negligence still happens at an alarming rate; in fact, a study from Johns Hopkins University attributes 250,000 deaths per year to medical errors.
If you suspect that medical malpractice is to blame for a death in your family, it is important that you take action right away. Your attorney will want to gather time-sensitive evidence while it is still available. Also, there are strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice lawsuits.
If you’re thinking about bringing a claim, read on to learn the answers to three FAQs about medical malpractice wrongful death cases:
1. How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice Occurred?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider breaches the duty of care owed to a patient. This breach of the duty of care is called “negligence.” In order to recover damages, you must prove the provider who was treating your loved one deviated from the most widely accepted standards of care. Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may use the following evidence to prove negligence:
- Medical records;
- Statements from relevant experts;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Surveillance footage;
- The facility’s hiring and operating procedures; and
- The results of the autopsy.
2. What Damages Might Be Recoverable?
If the medical error did not cause immediate death, it may be possible to bring both a survival action and a wrongful death claim. While a survival action is brought to pursue damages that the deceased incurred due to the fatal injury or illness, a wrongful death claim is brought to compensate surviving loved ones for the damages they incur due to the death.
If you intend to bring both types of action, the following damages may be recoverable:
- Medical bills and lost income incurred between the medical error and the death;
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before his or her death;
- Lost retirement benefits and pension;
- Emotional distress and mental anguish;
- Burial and funeral expenses; and
- Loss of society, companionship, parental care, guidance, and relationship.
3. Will My Case Go to Trial?
Most wrongful death cases do not go to trial; however, if a dispute arises regarding liability, causation, or damages, it is possible that your case will enter litigation and eventually proceed to court. Whether your case goes to trial will depend on a number of factors including the strength of your evidence, the amount of compensation being sought, and the opposing party’s willingness to cooperate.
Speak with a Wrongful Death Attorney in Jackson Today
If you intend to file a wrongful death claim in Mississippi, turn to the attorneys at Coxwell & Associates to start building your case. We have been counseling clients throughout Mississippi for more than 35 years.
There’s no cost for the consultation, and we won’t charge any attorney’s fees unless we win. Call (601) 265-7766 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a case review with a wrongful death lawyer in Jackson.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.