Wrongful Death vs. Medical Malpractice

If it can be proven that your injury or the death of your loved one was due to the negligence of a healthcare provider solely, you may have a case for malpractice and can recover damages.

No one should have to lose a loved one and no amount of money can replace them. In some situations, the death of a loved one can be caused by the negligence of a third party. Filing a claim against a negligent party can help hold them accountable for their actions and give you and your family the compensation you deserve.

Depending on your unique situation, there are different types of claims that can be filed. It is important to understand the difference between wrongful death and medical malpractice, as well as how they are similar. Not all wrongful death cases involve medical malpractice while some malpractice claims can lead to wrongful death lawsuits.

Avoiding medical malpractice lawsuits

Preemptive actions can limit a physician’s exposure to litigation

To err is human. So the question is not whether a medical malpractice lawsuit will be filed against a physician, but when.

As physicians pick their way through this minefield, if they’re not careful, one lawsuit from one patient could define their entire career, and lead to a loss of revenue, increased insurance costs and a massive hit to a physician’s professional reputation.

Bob White, chief operating officer of malpractice insurer TDC Group, says that some specialists such as neurosurgeons or obstetricians can spend as much as 25% of their career with an open malpractice suit against them.

“The sheer psychological fatigue that that creates for them is no small distraction for folks who’ve gone through it,” he said.

There are actions physicians can take to reduce their exposure to litigation.

Document as much as possible

The standard defense to lawsuits for years has been to maintain proper documentation, which White says has been greatly helped by the widescale adoption of electronic health records, but there are still limitations.

“There’s a finite amount of time that someone has to document things and we try to be practical when we talk to doctors about how to document, especially when a patient or the patient’s family is having difficulty in accepting the outcome of treatment,” he says.

Matt Gracey, former CEO of medical malpractice insurer Danna-Gracey and managing director of risk management firm Risk Strategies, says any lawsuit filed can become a much greater headache for the physician if patient records are not accurate, clear and timely.

$12M Med Mal Verdict: Mistaken Dose of Insulin Caused Brain Injury

With 55% fault apportioned to a defendant doctor and 45% to a Perry hospital that settled out of the case before trial, a $6.6 million award is set to be entered in the plaintiffs’ favor against the surgeon.

A Houston County, Georgia jury awarded $12 million in total damages to a woman who suffered permanent brain injuries after she accidentally administered the wrong type of insulin at a hospital in Perry.

Because the jury apportioned 45% liability to the hospital and nurse there who had already settled out of the case, the actual judgment is set to be entered for $6.6 million against the surgeon, who was assigned the remainder of fault.

Troops Can Finally Sue The Military For Medical Malpractice

The Defense Department on Thursday will officially publish the rules governing how uniformed service members or their representatives can file a claim against the military for malpractice.

The new regulation, which will take effect 30 days after Thursday’s publication in the Federal Register, marks a significant step in service members’ or families’ ability to seek recourse for malpractice. An advance look was posted online Wednesday morning.

For decades, the Feres Doctrine — named for a plaintiff in a landmark 1950 U.S. Supreme Court case — has kept active-duty military personnel from suing the government over personal injuries they incurred as a result of their service. This made it difficult for service members to seek recourse from the military when their medical treatment was mishandled.

But the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress in December 2019 contained provisions to change that. Service members — or their representatives if they are dead or incapacitated — became eligible to file claims for personal injury or death caused by a military health provider in certain medical treatment facilities.

Facts You Should Know About Medical Malpractice

In the United States, medical malpractice lawsuits first happened in the 1800s. History shows that legal claims for medical malpractice were rare before the 1960s, and it had little impact on the practice of medicine then.

However, since the 1960s, the frequency of medical malpractice claims has increased; and today, lawsuits filed by aggrieved patients alleging malpractice by a physician are common in the U.S

Are you a victim of medical errors, or do you need information? In this article, we will look at some facts you should know about this costly negligence.

Still have questions?

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