If a loved one has recently died at a hospital, you may be considering suing the hospital because you suspect that a doctor, nurse or someone else on the hospital staff played a part in your loved one's death. Although you should not be discouraged from exploring the possibility of a lawsuit, there are certain aspects of wrongful death case relating to a hospital that make it different from other circumstances of wrongful deaths. The following are three important things to understand.
Mistakes made by hospital staff are not necessarily negligent
The key to understanding wrongful death is in determining whether the death could have been prevented with the knowledge that doctors and nurses had available to them. Hindsight is 20/20, so it is easy to look back and conclude that a patient should have lived with a different course of treatment. However, if the doctors administered a standard protocol for the symptoms your loved one had, they are not likely be held accountable for a wrongful death.
Out of court settlements are not as common
When suing a hospital, it is never an easy case. Unlike many wrongful death cases that happen outside a medical environment, there is a reluctance to settle out of court. People die in a hospital every day, and this alone is not evidence of a wrongful death. Attorneys working on behalf of the hospital and their insurance company will often put up a legal fight regardless of any evidence of negligence. Always keep in mind that the death must have been preventable, so in a hospital, there must have been negligence on the part of the hospital staff.
You need an attorney with experience in medical lawsuits
Because the evidence of negligence at a hospital can be difficult to evaluate, you need an attorney with experience in wrongful death due to hospital negligence. In addition, an attorney must be able to take this evidence to a jury, and explain it in layman's terms, so they can render a guilty verdict, therefore providing the compensation surviving loved ones are entitled to. It is entirely possible that the insurance lawyers can believe that your attorney doesn't have the experience in this specialized area of medical liability to win the case, so they may go to court regardless of the evidence of negligence.
Your best course of action is to consult with an attorney. Any attorney with experience in wrongful death cases relating to hospitals will be able to examine the facts of the circumstances in the death of your loved one, and advise you what options you have.
For a wrongful death attorney, contact a law firm such as Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel.