7 Signs That a Medical Death Might Have Been Wrongful
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Pius Joseph with Law Offices of Pius Joseph.
Every medical treatment and procedure comes with certain risks. In some cases, these risks could be fatal. But how can someone tell if a medical death occurred due to a poor outcome or malpractice on the part of the medical staff? While most medical professionals are highly trained individuals dedicated to their patient’s wellbeing, when medical malpractice occurs it can be difficult for the average person to detect, and can have serious consequences.
That said, there is always the possibility that a procedure may result in an outcome that is not ideal through no fault of the doctor. While medicine is extremely important and can save a patient’s life or increase their health significantly, no medical procedure is ever a guarantee for better health. Figuring out the difference between a poor outcome and wrongful death as a result of malpractice can be extremely difficult; however, there are some signs that may indicate when a medical death was also a wrongful death.
7 signs that a medical fatality was wrongful death include:
- Lack of informed consent. The patient and/or their family were not informed of the risks or severity of the risks associated with the treatment or procedure.
- Unusual post-op symptoms. The patient’s recovery symptoms were severely unaligned with the standard recovery symptoms experienced by other patients after that type of treatment or procedure.
- Poor communication post-op. The medical team refuses to discuss details of the treatment or procedure with the patient or family members, or it only provides extremely vague answers.
- Hostility. The medical team or doctor is uncooperative/uncommunicative before, during, or after the treatment or procedure.
- Difficulty obtaining medical records. The medical team or doctor refuses or delays releasing medical records to the patient or family members with proper legal authority.
- Recovery symptoms worsen rather than improve. If a patient experiences an increase of pain, fatigue, or other symptoms as time passes instead of feeling better, this could indicate that something with the procedure or treatment went awry or was performed incorrectly.
- Gut feeling. In some cases there may be nothing to specifically point to indicating that malpractice occurred; however, whenever the patient or their family suspects malpractice may have played a part in a medical injury or death, it’s important to investigate the situation.
When a medical death occurs due to malpractice, the family may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are a type of lawsuit in which certain family members of the deceased may be eligible to file a claim against the responsible party; in the case of a medical death occurring from malpractice rather than a bad outcome, any healthcare professional or facility could be considered responsible depending on the circumstances. Damages that can be sought in a wrongful death claim include the patient’s medical bills, lost wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering, loss of a loved one, and funeral/burial expenses. If the patient was a primary wage-earner for their family, additional damages may also be applicable.
However, medicine is complicated, as are the laws governing patient rights; this is why it is extremely important to contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options and begin an investigation to determine what the real cause of the medical death was. These attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means clients don’t have to pay for their services unless they win their case; this allows grieving families to focus on healing and recovery rather than worrying about another bill to add to the pile.
To learn more about signs of malpractice in medical death cases, reach out to a medical malpractice attorney in your area.