Wrongful Death Caused by Medical Malpractice
There are a number of things that could go wrong in an emergency room, hospital, or operating room. If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, it can help deal with the bills that often pile up after such an event. At a time when you are emotionally drained, vulnerable, and confused about your next steps, we are here to help. At the Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys have the skill, dedication, and experience to handle your case. Time is of the essence in these cases, so it is important to act quickly.Wrongful Death Claims Based on Medical Malpractice
The Maryland legislature created the Wrongful Death statute to allow a surviving family member to be compensated for the loss of their loved one due to the “wrongful acts” of another party. The Maryland Court of Appeals has defined a “wrongful act” as anything for which the deceased person would have had a right to file a lawsuit and seek compensation had they not died.
In the context of medical malpractice, a wrongful death lawsuit arises when a patient dies as a result of a physician’s error or misconduct. Simply because someone died while receiving medical care does not necessarily mean that a “wrongful” death occurred. Instead, the death must have been a result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional causes harm because they failed to adhere to the standard of care that a prudent medical professional would have used under the same or similar circumstances. Some common scenarios from which a wrongful death claim may arise include:
- Surgical errors;
- Prescription errors;
- Birth injuries;
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose; or
- Anesthesia errors.
Under the Wrongful Death statute, certain relatives of the decedent, including a spouse, child, or parent, can file a wrongful death claim with the assistance of an attorney. Unlike other states, Maryland does not typically permit wrongful death claims to be filed by siblings, stepchildren, or grandparents. There might be a few rare situations, however, in which someone other than a spouse, child, or parent may be able to file a case.
Under Maryland law, most of these claims have two parts: a wrongful death action and a survival action. In a wrongful death claim, the recovery is measured in terms of harm to surviving family members that resulted from the unexpected loss of their loved one. As a result, compensation in such cases includes things like lost income and the value of services that the person would have provided had they not died. In addition, wrongful death claims allow family members to recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. It is important to note that there is a cap on non-economic damages.
A survival claim is brought on behalf of the estate of the person who died. The estate can recover both economic and non-economic damages. However, the damages are measured from the perspective of the decedent. Economic damages compensate the estate for losses such as medical bills incurred prior to the death, lost wages from the time that the individual was injured to the time that they died, and funeral costs. Non-economic damages include compensation for harm suffered prior to the death, such as pain and suffering.Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in the Baltimore Area
There is nothing more devastating than unexpectedly losing a loved one. If you have lost a loved one due to medical negligence, such as a surgical error, you need to reach out to a seasoned attorney who can help. At the Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, you can trust that we know how to navigate these complex claims. We represent people in cities such as Baltimore, Pikesville, Catonsville, Towson, Woodlawn, Dundalk, Essex, Randallstown, Arbutus, Reisterstown, Laurel, Silver Springs, and other areas of Baltimore, Montgomery, and Anne Arundel Counties. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us toll-free at 800-810-6780 or contact us online.