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When a Hospital Death Involves Medical Malpractice

8943758_s-200x300 (1).jpgAlthough patients enter a hospital in the hopes of medical recovery, sadly, in some situations, the patient dies in the hospital. Hospital deaths can happen for a number of reasons, but in some cases, a hospital death may be the result of medical malpractice. When this happens, the doctor and hospital treating the patient may be liable in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice happens any time a doctor or health care provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of care and the patient is injured as a result. If a doctor or hospital is found liable for medical malpractice, the patient may be able to recover the following compensatory damages: medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. When the patient dies as a result of medical malpractice, however, a wrongful death claim may be filed by the victim's family. While the assessment of liability is the same in a medical malpractice lawsuit whether the patient dies or not, there are a few other differences. First, if the patient dies, the lawsuit is often filed by the victim's closest family member or estate executor. Second, in Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit without death must be filed within two years of the date of that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical malpractice. If the patient dies, however, the wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the patient's death. Third, the plaintiff in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit can recover the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of future income and benefits
  • Loss of future inheritance
  • Loss of parental guidance (if deceased patient has minor children)
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Emotional distress of surviving spouse and next of kin
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased patient prior to death
  • Punitive damages (if defendant's actions were particularly egregious)

Contact a Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Doctors and hospitals have an obligation to provide adequate and appropriate treatment. Of course, hospital deaths often occur through the fault of no one, but in some situations, a hospital death is the result of a medical error. If this is the case, the deceased patient's family may be able to recover money damages in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. These lawsuits are emotionally and legally challenging, making it all the more important to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer who is familiar with hospital death lawsuits. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish have significant experience representing the victims of medical malpractice, and are committed to helping patients and their families receive full and fair compensation. If your loved one died in the hospital and you suspect medical malpractice was involved, contact the Chicago injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible wrongful death medical malpractice claim.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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