Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things that we have to go through emotionally. It is even harder when their death was possibly at the hands of someone else who may have made a mistake. There is nothing that can take away that pain but making sure that their expenses and family are taken care of is the main concern. An experienced wrongful death attorney in Charlotte can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against a doctor to ease some of the financial burden.
What Is Wrongful Death?
The definition per North Carolina G.S. § 28A-18-2 states that wrongful death is caused by a wrongful act, default, or neglect of another. What this means is that if a person kills another because of their neglectful act then they can be responsible for a wrongful death charge.
Wrongful death claims can be brought in front of the court from the executor of the deceased person’s estate. If there is no executor, the person’s representative can bring forth the claim. This includes the next of kin, spouse, children, or anyone who is found to be financially responsible for the deceased.
- The medical expenses accrued by the deceased-these include hospital care, surgeries, rehabilitation services, pharmacy, and hospice that resulted from the injury or illness.
- The pain and suffering the deceased experienced and endured prior to their death.
- Funeral and burial expenses that are considered to be reasonable.
- Any income that was lost for familial support purposes.
- Any loss of services, protection, care, and assistance for the deceased.
- The loss of society, comfort, companionship, and advice.
When the lawsuit is paid out it must first go to paying for the estate and the expenses of the deceased, then to legal representative fees, outstanding funeral and burial costs, and finally the beneficiaries will have the final amount split between them.
If you find that you need to bring a wrongful death suit against a doctor who is responsible for the death of your loved one due to their neglectful actions, call a wrongful death attorney in Charlotte for a free consultation.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against a Doctor?
Every day thousands of people across the United States trust medical professionals with their lives. We don’t give a second thought about allowing these well-educated individuals to prescribe medications, operate, and treat all of our illnesses.
We expect that these doctors keep meticulous records, not only of our health but our allergies and other factors that might make treating us difficult. If someone suffers from anemia, a doctor wouldn’t give them a blood thinner during a procedure. Someone who has an allergic reaction to a pain medicine, wouldn’t be given it after having surgery. There are just some standards of care that are expected in the doctor and patient relationship.
When that line is breached and our doctors do something that endangers our lives, it has to be investigated as to why that happens. Sadly, some of these doctor and patient mistakes can result in the patient dying. At that point, the determination must be made about who was negligent in the situation.
Proving Malpractice That Resulted in Wrongful Death
Trying to prove that the malpractice of a doctor resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one will be best conducted by a lawyer and an investigator. There are certain things that must be proven in order for your case to proceed.
There was a doctor and patient relationship.
There must be proof that the deceased had a patient relationship with the doctor the lawsuit is against. The doctor had to have actually treated the deceased.
The doctor was negligent.
You have to prove that actions taken by the doctor were negligent in nature. It will have to be proven that the doctor caused harm to the deceased that another doctor, given the same circumstances, would not have done.
The doctor’s negligence leads to death.
There has to be ample proof, which is generally done using documentation from the deceased’s files or from video at the hospital or doctor’s office that proves that the doctor didn’t provide a standard of care that they are responsible for. During the investigation, this might also be the time that you find out that there is someone else responsible for the negligence and they are at fault, not the doctor.
This is why investigating the circumstances that lead to death. If a nurse asks a patient their allergies and they state that they cannot have penicillin, it is her responsibility to write this down. After examination, the doctor decides that the patient needs penicillin, they will tell the nurse to administer it. We can empathize that the nurse has many patients, but we cannot empathize that when administered it causes death because it was not written in the chart.
In that instance, the wrongful death would fall upon the nurse and not the doctor. If something like this happens and your loved one dies, hiring a Charlotte law firm that can handle a wrongful death lawsuit against a doctor, and has years of experience in these types of cases can secure the compensation and justice the deceased and their family is entitled to.