When you or a loved one have suffered from an injury or death that wasn’t your fault, it can prove challenging to figure out exactly what you’re entitled to. Although medical malpractice and wrongful death are two different concepts, they can often intertwine, which can cause confusion. No two cases are the same, and categorizing them all depends on the set of circumstances surrounding the death or personal injury.
If you have any questions about medical malpractice or wrongful death claims, our qualified team is happy to help. Contact us for a free consultation today at (941) 444-4444.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is defined as any action performed by a medical professional that differs from the accepted medical standard and causes a patient pain and suffering, or even death, during their treatment.
Some examples of medical malpractice include:
- Having your condition misdiagnosed.
- Delays in diagnosis.
- Surgical errors.
- Being given either too much or too little medication.
If you believe you or your loved one have suffered from medical malpractice, you are able to file a claim, and you may be entitled to compensation.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when someone causes another person’s death, either accidentally or intentionally, through wrongful actions. This means the at-fault person is legally liable for the death as a result of their own negligent, careless, or reckless conduct.
Some common examples of wrongful death include:
- Medical malpractice.
- Car accidents.
- Accidents at work.
- Drowning and boating accidents.
- Pedestrian accidents.
Similar to medical malpractice, if your family has suffered from wrongful death, you are able to file a claim and potentially receive compensation for any damages done.
So What’s the Difference?
While there are many similarities between medical malpractice and wrongful death, they are separate concepts and must be treated as such.
Medical malpractice includes any preventable harms or injuries inflicted on a patient, specifically as a result of negligence on behalf of the medical professional that was treating them. For example, if your doctor incorrectly read your chart and prescribed you the wrong medication, therefore causing you harm or making your condition worsen, that would be medical malpractice. It is important to note that medical malpractice can lead to a wrongful death but overall includes any injuries sustained.
Wrongful death, on the other hand, involves any death that occurs due to the negligence of another party, who legally owe the deceased a duty of care. For instance, drivers owe all other road users a legal duty of care. Therefore, if someone was using their phone while driving, which led to an accident involving the death of another party, they would have breached their duty of care and caused a wrongful death.
Victims of medical malpractice or wrongful death can file a claim for any compensation they believe they are entitled to after suffering either economic or non-economic damages.
Making a Medical Malpractice Claim
Before filing a medical malpractice claim, in accordance with Florida Statute 766.104, there must be a reasonable investigation to ensure there are enough grounds on which to file it. In order to file a successful medical malpractice claim, you must prove the following:
- You were legally entitled to a duty of care by your medical provider.
- Your medical provider diverted from accepted standards of medical care.
- How your medical provider’s diverted standards caused a breach of duty of care.
- That the breach of duty of care was a direct cause of your injuries.
- Your injuries caused you to suffer damages.
If you’re confident that you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim: don’t hesitate. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Florida is two years, meaning you could forfeit your chance of receiving any compensation you may be entitled to.
Making a Wrongful Death Claim
When a person suffers a wrongful death, their family is entitled to make a wrongful death claim. At times, wrongful death cases can be hard to prove, as the circumstances around the death are not always clear. In order to ensure that your wrongful death claim can be proven, there must be a thorough investigation, including supporting evidence, witness statements, and expert evaluations.
To prove that another party contributed to the death through negligence or recklessness, you must, first of all, demonstrate the following:
- The at-fault party owed the decedent duty of care.
- How they breached their duty of care.
- How the breach of duty of care directly contributed to the death.
- That economic or non-economic damages were incurred as a result.
- The loss of any financial support provided.
- Medical bills.
- Funeral costs.
- Mental suffering.
- Loss of companionship/parental figure.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years so, if you feel you have a solid claim, don’t delay, as you may lose your chance of the compensation you are legally owed.
Wrongful death settlements are usually paid out by the insurance company that covers whoever is deemed responsible for said wrongful death. However, each case is different, and the outcome can drastically vary based on the circumstances of your claim. Contact The Law Place for a free consultation regarding your wrongful death claim today.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have been affected by medical malpractice or wrongful death in the State of Florida, contact The Law Place today. Our fantastic team of lawyers will review your case and answer any questions or queries you may have.
Here at The Law Place, we can offer you a free consultation with one of our attorneys, who can take you step-by-step through the legal aspects of your claim and provide you with expert advice. If you want help or information, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we are always on hand and happy to help.