Is The Hospital Liable for a Patient’s Wrongful Death?
Published in wrongful death on March 30, 2018.
Wrongful death lawsuits are always complicated matters, but they can be even more complex when the death involves allegations of medical malpractice. The liability of a caregiver in the case of a wrongful death suggests that others are at fault, as well as the doctor himself. In many cases, the family of the decedent wants to know if the hospital in which the death occurred can also be held liable.
What is a Wrongful Death and When is the Hospital Liable?
It’s important to note a few factors involved in a wrongful death lawsuit. When law firms such as Nelson & Smith Lawyers take on a wrongful death case, it’s because a death has been caused by the negligence of another and the surviving family members are seeking damages. The death may be caused by homicide, an accident, or an injury and where a hospital is named as a defendant, there are also likely to be allegations of medical malpractice.
Caregivers are required to provide a standard of care equivalent to all patients with similar conditions. When the caregiver deviates from that standard without justification and that deviation causes an injury or death to the patient, there may be a case for medical malpractice. Under those circumstances, doctors, nurses, and any other hospital staff may all be named in the lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits can result from several types of medical malpractice:
- Inaccurate diagnosis of a medical condition
- Medication prescription errors
- Surgical mistakes
- Care negligence
In terms of naming a hospital in a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit, the hospital can be held liable for the actions of its employees. Additionally, the hospital itself is responsible for the hiring and supervision of its employees, as well as for the care and maintenance of the facility’s equipment. The hospital is also liable in terms of overseeing the care of each patient.
When Should You Consider Suing the Hospital?
This is a decision your attorney should make, based on how much insurance the doctor carries. All doctors carry medical malpractice insurance to some degree, but it may not be enough to cover the damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In that case, your attorney will probably recommend naming the hospital in the lawsuit as well.
The reason a hospital won’t always be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit is that it will mean facing a larger team of lawyers in court, as opposed to the one law firm retained to defend the decedent’s doctor. With multiple defense attorneys working against you in the wrongful death case, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll lose your case. For that reason, your lawyer may try to avoid naming the hospital as a defendant, if possible.
If you have lost a loved one and believe the death was due to medical malpractice, you may be able to seek damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. By contacting the legal professionals at Nelson & Smith Lawyers, you can get a professional and experienced evaluation of your case. While your loved one can never be replaced, you may be able to recover damages to compensate your family for the financial burden this loss has caused.
Please visit our site for more information on our Dublin Wrongful Death Lawyers.