Is there a difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death? Medical malpractice may lead to death, and therefore a wrongful death lawsuit, but not every wrongful death case comes from medical malpractice.
Simply put, medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured due to the negligence of a healthcare provider. Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligence, wrongful acting, or carelessness of another person.
Medical Malpractice is the negligence caused by a healthcare professional or institution that leads to injury, harm, or death of a patient. The carelessness might be the result of errors in diagnosis, aftercare management, or treatment.
Some examples of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Failure to treat
- Prescription drug error
- Childbirth injuries
- Nursing home abuse
Medical malpractice can happen at any point in the medical process. Diagnosis, treatment, follow-ups, or emergency care.
Wrongful death is a claim against someone who was negligent and was the leading cause of death to another. There may be criminal prosecution related to a fatality, however, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that is separate from any criminal charge.
Medical malpractice is specific to healthcare-related negligence, whereas wrongful death cases can happen anywhere. The most common wrongful death cases in Nebraska arise from the following:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Faulty Product
- Workplace Accident
- Boating Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
Wrongful death cases can vary widely and involve way more legal areas than medical malpractice. In the state of Nebraska, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed up to two years after the accident.
To learn more about wrongful death legislature, visit nebraskalegislature.gov.
When One Leads to Another
While there may be differences between wrongful death and medical malpractice claims, there are some key things you should know when they merge.
Who can file a wrongful death?
Typically, the closest relative to the person who died, such as a child, spouse, or parent, will be the one making the claim. If the deceased has an executor of their will, that person may be able to file the wrongful death claim.
What type of damages can be claimed?
Wrongful death damages can be similar to those that are sought after in medical malpractice cases. Damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit consist of medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, or lost wages. Those same things can be pursued in a wrongful death case.
Here are a few other things that a plaintiff can pursue:
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Financial hardship
- And more
With most lawsuits, the types of damages that can be claimed will depend on the facts of the case, as well as state laws. It’s wise to speak with attorneys who have experience in both medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. They will help you to identify what you can claim depending on the facts from your case.
Let Friedman Law Offices Help
The last thing you’re thinking about when dealing with an unexpected injury or death in your family is hiring a lawyer. At Friedman Law Offices we understand that and it’s why we make the process easy for you and your family. We have the expertise and skills to represent your family sensitively and professionally.
If you suspect that medical malpractice or healthcare-related wrongful death has happened, call our office. Our attorneys have experience investigating and pursuing these cases. We can help you determine whether you and your family have been victimized due to the negligence of others.