Navigating the complex realm of legal claims can be challenging, especially when it concerns the health or demise of a loved one. Two terms often mentioned in these cases are ‘medical malpractice’ and ‘wrongful death’. While they may seem similar, they have distinct differences, and understanding them is crucial. Paulozzi LPA is here to clarify these concepts.
Medical malpractice signifies a failure or error by healthcare professionals, leading to patient harm. It isn’t just limited to doctors but encompasses all healthcare providers. The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys describes it as a situation where “a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional, owing to a negligent act or omission, inflicts injury on a patient. Such negligence can manifest in misdiagnosis, treatment blunders, errors in post-treatment care, or flawed health management.”
For a case to qualify as medical malpractice, it should generally meet these criteria:
Wrongful death, on the other hand, is broader. It pertains to any situation where an individual’s actions, intentional or negligent, result in another person’s death. The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School elucidates, “It is a civil action against those who can be held accountable for a death. A wrongful death action can arise from various tortious injuries leading to someone’s demise. Traditionally, the claim had to be initiated by the deceased’s survivors, predominantly immediate family. Modern statutes have evolved these rules.”
In simpler terms, while all deaths resulting from medical malpractice can be considered wrongful deaths, not every wrongful death arises from medical malpractice.
If you suspect a loved one fell victim to either medical malpractice or suffered a wrongful death due to someone’s negligence, time is of the essence. There are statutes of limitations for both claims, making swift action imperative to seeking justice.
Paulozzi LPA extends its expertise in these areas. To discuss your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Our seasoned team of attorneys is just a call away at 216-812-2100.