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Common Elements of Medical Malpractice Cases

Death of a loved one is always painful. But if it is a premature death caused by medical negligence, we suffer relentless pain. No amount of money can bring the person back but the deceased’s family has a choice to claim compensation for their loss and even seek punitive damages for the unpardonable crime committed by people associated with a noble profession. The first step to ensure justice is to file a wrongful death case against the suspected medical professionals.

A wrongful death happens when a person dies due to medical malpractice. The laws governing the wrongful death lawsuits vary from one state to another. However, there are some common issues pertaining to each wrongful death case:

  • Who can lodge a wrongful death claim in support of the deceased’s estate
  • How is a person chosen to represent the deceased’s state
  • What kinds of damages does a wrongful death case allow

The write-up will briefly discuss each of the above-stated points.

Who can lodge a wrongful death claim in support of the deceased’s estate?

The plaintiff is often a surviving relative of the deceased, such as a parent, spouse or child. The person, who files the lawsuits, is often the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate. In most cases, the deceased’s family raise no objection to who will represent on the deceased’s behalf. In some cases, the family members get embroiled into dispute over the representation. Only the estate representative is entitled to file a lawsuit and decide in regards to settlement.

If the deceased has no surviving parents or spouse but more than one child and they are not on good terms, it will create a trouble as to who will represent the estate and file the lawsuit. In that case, the court takes direct intervention into the matter to resolve the issue.

How is a person chosen to represent the deceased’s estate?

Only the state court enjoys full authority to appoint a person to represent the deceased’s estate. However, the representative is chosen either equivocally or through a trial. The court is, in many states, called probate court.

As per the court’s order, the proposed representative is obliged to send notice to all interested persons, such as relatives and others who received support from the deceased. In the event of no objection from the notified parties, the proposed person will be appointed as the representative of the deceased’s estate. If anyone raises objection, the court will appoint someone who will represent the deceased’s estate in the best possible way.

What kinds of damages does a wrongful death case allow?

If the case is won in favour of the plaintiff, the person will receive compensation for lost wages, lost employment benefits, medical expenses and the deceased’s pain and suffering. The customary damages, which have the elements resulting from wrongful death, are not same throughout all states. Those, who suspect that their near and dear ones end up passing away prematurely due to medical negligence, should contact a lawyer having specialization, skill and experience in this particular field.

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