Medical malpractice is an injury or harm caused to a patient through the negligence of a healthcare provider. While the majority of medical professionals always act for the well-being of their patients, in some instances, doctors may fail to follow proper procedures or standards of care. According to the National Institutes of Health, medical malpractice is a common occurrence in the U.S.
Anyone who suffers harm or loses a loved one following medical malpractice is eligible to file a claim for justice. If the injured party files a medical malpractice action, the burden of proof will be on them to show that the healthcare provider breached the medical standard of care. The medical standard of care is simply defined as what a diligent and committed medical provider would do given similar circumstances. Consulting a Sugar Land medical malpractice lawyer about your rights is the first step toward finding justice for yourself or your loved one.
In almost all cases of medical malpractice, the injured patient is the party that should file the lawsuit against the responsible healthcare provider. However, if the medical malpractice resulted in loss of life or severe damages, such as brain injuries, there are other parties or persons who can file the claim on behalf of the injured person. Regardless of the severity of injuries sustained in a medical malpractice, the injured person reserves the right to appoint someone else to represent them in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is often a qualified medical malpractice attorney, although if the injured person continues to have serious health problems, it may be a friend or family member. In either case, the injured party exercises their power to appoint someone who may bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the medical malpractice.
In most cases, such delegation of power from an injured person to a third party is often witnessed in nursing homes, where a family member takes over the power of attorney on behalf of their loved one to begin the legal process. In the event that the injured person dies due to medical malpractice, an authorized person, on behalf of the deceased’s estate, may bring forward a claim against the responsible parties. This person is entitled to receive the same compensation that the deceased would have received if they were still alive.
However, in the event that the patient dies due to unrelated causes, the medical malpractice claim will be much more difficult to prove. Regardless of your situation, it is advisable to seek the services of a competent medical malpractice lawyer who will work closely with medical experts to determine the cause of death. The deceased’s will may also name the official executor for the management of the deceased’s estate. If none is mentioned, or the decedent died without a will, the court may appoint an executor.
The court will often appoint the closest family member, or one who is best situated to take on the responsibility. In this case, the executor (or depending on the circumstances and your location, the “administrator”) retains all the rights of the deceased. These rights include the right to initiate a medical malpractice action and the right to receive and manage any money to come from the lawsuit.
If the injured person was married, their spouse will likely have the right to sue the responsible parties for loss of companionship, loss of consortium, or loss of livelihood (in cases where the decedent was the sole breadwinner of the family). Similarly, any child of the injured party has equal rights when it comes to seeking justice for the loss of parental consortium, which comes in the form of love, emotional support, care, and affection. Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer near you is recommended if you are not sure of the steps to take when seeking justice for medical malpractice. Your lawyer will be able to assess the events that led to the malpractice and advise you accordingly on the next steps for your case.
The damages recoverable in a medical malpractice claim vary from case to case. It all depends on the specific facts of your situation. For example, if someone was injured, the damages applicable may differ from another scenario where a life is lost. To best understand the damages you may be eligible for, it would be best to consult a seasoned medical malpractice attorney. Our team is equipped to help you get the justice you deserve, including lost wages, loss of income-earning ability, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and out-of-pocket expenses, among other losses. Call us today to learn more.