John Hopkins reports that some 250,000 people in the United States die each year in hospitals as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional—be it a nurse, physician, surgeon, or anesthesiologist—fails to provide a standard of care that has been established as “reasonable” in the medical field. The immediate family members of the deceased patient can file a wrongful death action in a medical malpractice case.
Proof in a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Action
To establish negligence in a wrongful death action involving medical malpractice, the plaintiffs will have to prove that:
- The victim died as a result of a preventable medical error.
- The medical error or negligent act was the proximate (probable, most likely) cause of the patient’s death.
- The patient had close family members who suffered compensable losses as a result of the death.
- The hospital, doctor, or nurse responsible for the error should provide compensation to the family members for their loss.
Examples of Medical Errors
There are many things that could go wrong in an emergency room, hospital, or operation theater. Some examples of fatal hospital errors may include:
- Misdiagnosis or wrongful diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Mistakes relating to medications
- Birth injuries
Building Your Case
Doctors and hospitals have it in their best interests to fight medical malpractice wrongful death cases. They want to protect their reputation and their bottom line. Therefore, if you want to file a claim, you will need help from many medical and legal professionals. At Cullan & Cullan, our Kansas City wrongful death attorneys can help you determine liability and calculate the potential value of your claim. It is also important that you have the necessary resources on your side. We are here to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.