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How to Prove Liability in a Wrongful Death Case Against a Fort Lauderdale Hospital

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 225,000 people die each year from medical malpractice. Of those 225,000 deaths, 100,000 occur in hospital settings. The death of a loved one is never easy, but when that death occurs at the hands of a professional trusted with his or her life, the loss is even more devastating. After all, we trust doctors and healthcare professionals to make us better, not to cause the very thing we were trying to prevent.

If a loved one has recently passed away due to medical malpractice, you may have a wrongful death lawsuit on your hands. At The Pendas Law Firm, we routinely deal with medical malpractice lawsuits, and will be by your side to assist you in proving liability and recuperating the just amount of damages.

Leading Causes of Medical Malpractice Wrongful Deaths

According to the same study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the significant number of wrongful deaths in a medical setting was a result of the following treatments:

  • Unnecessary surgery, which accounted for 12,000 deaths;
  • Medication errors in a hospital setting (including anesthesia errors), which accounted for 7,000 deaths;
  • Hospital errors, which accounted for 20,000 deaths;
  • Infections acquired in a dirty hospital setting, which accounted for 80,000 deaths; and
  • Negative effects of drugs, which accounted for 106,000 deaths.

Misdiagnosis of Disease

One of the most common forms of medical malpractice in Fort Lauderdale is the misdiagnosis of disease, resulting in thousands of deaths each year. Misdiagnosis occurs when the attending physician fails to diagnose an underlying medical condition, or misdiagnoses the condition entirely, thereby failing to administer proper treatment. If this is the case, the plaintiff, with the testimony of another medical expert, must prove that any other doctor or specialist would have made the proper diagnosis, administered timely treatment, and created a better outcome for the patient.

Wrongful Death and Survivor Claims

If you are the survivor of a victim of wrongful death, there are two legal avenues you can pursue:

  • File a wrongful death claim.
  • File a claim for survivors’ benefits.

If you choose to file a wrongful death claim, you must prove the following:

  • That the victim’s death was the result of a specific form of medical negligence;
  • That the victim is survived by loved family members; and
  • That the family members have suffered monetary and emotional losses.

If you choose to file a survivors’ benefits claim, you must be able to prove the following:

  • That the victim’s death was the result of a specific form of medical negligence;
  • That prior to death, the victim suffered unnecessarily as a result of the medical negligence;
  • That had the victim lived, he or she would have sued the medical provider for medical malpractice; and
  • Because of his or her death, the descendant lost the future love and companionship of his family members.

Because the victim did not live, the administrator of the estate or a surviving family must ask the court to order the negligent medical provider to pay the victim’s estate, which would be distributed as the will instructs.

If a surviving family member is not in the  victim’s will, he or she may only receive compensation via a wrongful death claim, and not under the survivors’ benefits claim.

If a family member so chooses, they may file both types of claims. If the filing family member or family members are beneficiaries of the victim’s will, they are entitled to receive compensation twice.

Retain the Help of a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer

At The Pendas Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyers understand the desire to seek retribution for a loved one’s untimely and wrongful death. If you recently suffered the loss of a loved one due to medical negligence, you are entitled to collect compensation for your pain and suffering. To schedule a private consultation with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, contact our firm at 1-888-LPENDAS today. We also serve clients in the West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Fort Myer, Orlando, and Jacksonville areas.

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