How Is a Wrongful Death/Medical Malpractice Case Handled?
Every state has a different way of handling wrongful death cases. These
statutes determine the procedures in the case. The court awards damages
from a successful wrongful death case to the deceased party’s estate.
The estate then distributes the money according to the will.
People can bring wrongful death cases to court in many different scenarios,
but these are some of the most common:
- Medical malpractice that results in a death
A plane or
auto accident or slip and fall
- Exposure to harmful conditions or substances in the workplace
- Criminal behavior
- Death during a supervised activity
- A defect in a product like a car or crib
Furthermore, the case must meet the following qualifications to qualify
as a wrongful death lawsuit:
- A person died
- The death was the direct result of someone else’s negligence, or
the death was the direct result of malicious behavior
- The surviving family members are experiencing financial hardship due to the death
A personal representative of the deceased must be established, as this
is the party who will bring the wrongful death claim.
The financial injury, also known as pecuniary injury, is the primary measure
of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The financial injury includes
any loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical/funeral
expenses. It isn’t your responsibility to take on the financial
burden of your loved one’s death if someone else caused it. These
payments should cover your expenses throughout the process. Also, interest
begins accruing on these payments from the date of the death.
Finally, the decedent’s estate may also be able to sue for damages for
personal injury to the decedent. Called “survival actions,” this personal
injury action survives the person who suffered the injury. You can bring
this claim in addition to the wrongful death claim. To determine the amount
awarded, the jury will determine the decedent’s degree of consciousness,
the severity of the pain, the apprehension of impending death, and the
duration of the suffering.
Get the Help You Need
If someone in your family died after receiving negligent, improper, or
inadequate medical care or as a result of any form of medical malpractice,
including intentional misconduct, it’s important that you contact
an experienced Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer immediately. An attorney
will be able to help you understand what your next steps should be.
Contact Ruch & Shipon, P.C. today for a consultation
to see what we can do for you: