Hospitals and healthcare providers have a legal and ethical obligation to provide acceptable care to their patients. Of course, doctors cannot prevent all deaths. However, there are situations where medical negligence can result in avoidable deaths.
If your loved one has died as a result of medical malpractice, you may consider filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent healthcare provider or facility. A successful wrongful death claim may help you recover compensation for your losses while holding the responsible party accountable.
Here are the key elements that you must prove to win a wrongful death claim:
Duty of care
In your lawsuit, you must establish that there existed a doctor-patient relationship between the deceased person and the defendant. This professional relationship gives the defendant a legal duty to act within the healthcare industry’s expected standard of care.
Breach of duty
Next, you must prove that the defendant breached or failed to execute their expected duty of care. This may mean that the healthcare provider failed to offer appropriate treatment to the patient or that they knew the patient’s life was in danger but either failed to act or acted recklessly.
The actual cause of death
Subsequently, you must prove that the physician’s act of medical malpractice was the proximate or primary cause of your loved one’s death. In other words, you must prove that your loved one would not have lost their life if not for the defendant’s negligence.
Finally, to put a monetary value on your loss, you must specify the damages you have suffered following your loved one’s death. This includes economic and non-economic damages such as funeral expenses, lost earnings, loss of guidance and companionship and more.
The sudden death of a loved one can be difficult to handle, and worse so when the death could have been avoided. It is important that you understand what it takes to prove negligence so you can get the compensation you deserve following your loss.