Doctors and other medical professionals proclaim oaths that they will do no harm in the diagnosing and treating of their patients. However, as many New Orleans residents know, medical professionals are not infallible, and they can make devastating mistakes when providing their expertise and care. Sometimes when a doctor makes a grievous error in the treatment of a patient that they serve, the patient may succumb to their ailments or die from the treatments prescribed when their condition may have otherwise been remedied.
Doctor errors are generally addressed through medical malpractice cases but when a patient dies due to the negligence or reckless acts of a doctor then the claim may be based on wrongful death. As with wrongful death claims that arise from vehicle accidents, products and premises liability cases, and others, medical malpractice-based wrongful death suits must fulfill the legal elements of the wrongful death claim.
First, a person must die for a wrongful death claim to be applicable in a medical malpractice case. Second, the death must be due to the negligence of another person, and in the case of a medical death that other person would likely be a health care professional. Third, the deceased party must have surviving family members who are financially disadvantaged by the decedent’s death, and finally there must be a representative appointed to manage the decedent’s estate.
The loss of a loved one due to a doctor’s mistake can be devastating for the victim’s family members who must go on in the wake of the victim’s death. Although no legal claim can bring a lost loved one back wrongful death claims based on cases of medical malpractice can provide families with financial support to move their lives forward.