Many patients who visit a hospital for treatment every year die of causes that are unrelated to their illnesses. These patients’ death may be preventable, and could be related to the negligence of doctors, nurses, medical technicians and other medical personnel at the facility.
The number of persons who succumb to errors caused by medical personnel is much higher than many would think. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report titled To Err is Human, which clearly outlined the terrible toll that medical malpractice takes every year.
According to the report, as many as 98,000 patients are killed annually because of preventable medical errors in hospitals. Some think those numbers are even higher. In the event a patient’s death is related to medical negligence, the family may pursue a wrongful death medical malpractice case.
Medical Malpractice Fatality Statistics
In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health And Human Services reported that 180,000 patients on Medicare die from medical errors in any given year. In 2013, a report in the Journal of Patient Safety claimed that as many as 210,000 to 440,000 patients die every year when they visit a hospital for care and suffer a fatal injury.
A report in Journal of the American Medical Association now estimates that medical errors are the third-leading cause of fatality in the United States – if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted medical mistakes as a category of death – behind heart disease and cancer.
Causes of Wrongful Death from Medical Malpractice
A patient who receives substandard care, or care that does not meet the usual duty of care that a doctor owes to a patient, can suffer serious injury that can even cause fatalities.
Below are some examples of patient injuries that might be fatal and could be the result of medical negligence.
- Excessive bleeding
- Surgical complications
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Slip and fall accidents in the hospital
- Infections and other complications from foreign objects left behind in the patient’s body during surgery
- Dangerous medication errors
Proving Wrongful Death because of Medical Malpractice
The following are the elements of your claim that you must prove in order to file a successful wrongful death medical malpractice claim in Bensalem.
- The deceased had a patient-doctor relationship with the defendant.
- The doctor violated the duty of care owed to the deceased.
- The violation of the duty resulted in the patient’s fatal injuries.
- The family suffered damages – economic or non-economic – as a result of the patient’s death.
Survivors of Bensalem patients, who died as a result of medical negligence, can file a wrongful death claim. This compensates the survivors for damages caused by the loss of their loved one. That includes damages like lost wages, funeral and burial expenses and other damages.
The deceased’s personal representative may also pursue a survival action on behalf of the deceased’s estate, rather than the beneficiaries themselves. These actions recover damages that the patient suffered after the medical mistake but prior to death. This might include medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Discuss a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Claim with Barrera Law Firm
Any claim centering on medical malpractice can be expensive, long drawn out and complicated. Discuss the viability of your claim with an attorney in Bensalem.
If you have lost a loved one because of medical negligence by a doctor, nurse, or any other medical personnel at a Bensalem hospital or medical facility, speak with a medical malpractice attorney at Cordisco & Saile LLC to discuss your options for compensation. Call 215-642-2335 or head to our contact page to set up a consultation so you can speak with a lawyer about your case.