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Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Cases
Since 2001, our Illinois attorneys have been helped people find the best wrongful death attorney for their case. Call our office at 312-346-5320 or 800-517-1614 to speak with an attorney for FREE and get pointed in the right direction. Or fill out our contact form and we will contact you. It is always free and confidential to contact us.
Medical malpractice cases involving a wrongful death are typically very complex. When a loved one dies due to negligence or malpractice of healthcare professionals, family members may seek justice through a wrongful death lawsuit if they can show the death was due to negligence. There are number of complex requirements for a suit to be successful and for grieving loves ones to receive some kind of compensation for their tragic loss.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a time frame that an injured party, or a family member of a deceased individual, has to file a lawsuit. In wrongful death cases, this time frame is two years of the date of death. A failure to meet this deadline will usually prevent you from seeking legal action. It is important for family members to promptly consult with an attorney to assess the possibility of a lawsuit as these cases usually take a while to investigate.
Hierarchy of Beneficiaries
In the event of a wrongful death lawsuit, there is a hierarchy of surviving relatives who may take legal action as the descendant’s ‘estate’. Spouses typically have the first right to file a claim, followed by children then parents. All individuals who are claiming to have a legal right must demonstrate their legal standing and provide evidence of the impact on their lives.
In order to succeed in a medical malpractice wrongful death case, there must be a clear connection between the healthcare provider’s negligence and the death of the patient. So, this requires that the death was a direct result of substandard care of medical errors of a healthcare provider; so if the healthcare provider had acted correctly, the patient would not have died.
For example, if a medical professional fails to diagnose, or misdiagnoses, a life-threatening condition, such as an aortic aneurysm, dismissing it as indigestion. If the patient was otherwise healthy and the condition was treatable, the family could have a strong case for wrongful death. The negligence is not in managing a terminal illness but in failing to diagnose and treat a curable condition.
Not every death following medical treatment allows for a lawsuit. There are cases in which a patient is already suffering from a terminal illness with a limited life expectancy and unpleasant circumstances occur even with proper medical care. For example, if a patient with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, with less than six months to live, succumbs to complications from aggressive chemotherapy, it may not be a clear case of medical negligence. The key is establishing that the negligence accelerated the death and/or caused harm beyond the expected outcome of the terminal illness.
If you are able to establish a valid case for medical negligence, you may be able to recover damages. The amount of recovery available depends on various factors, including the medical treatment costs incurred by the deceased victim, deceased’s life expectancy, loss of income, funeral/burial costs, loss of consortium (loss of intangible benefits of a relationship), pain and suffering (physical discomfort and emotional distress) and others. In some cases this could mean you are entitled to millions of dollars.
Medical malpractice wrongful death cases are very emotionally and legally challenging. We have helped hundreds of people in similar circumstances and would love to help you. We will treat you compassionately, honestly and as if you were a family member or friend. Call any time for help in Illinois at 312-346-5320.