P&N BLOG | Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Explained
You may have heard the terms ‘medical malpractice’ and ‘wrongful death’ before, but what do they mean? Are they different? Can medical negligence result in a wrongful death? Is a wrongful death claim only limited to something going wrong medically, or does it apply to other types of negligence as well? Here at Parente & Norem, PC we have all of the answers you need to these questions.
Let’s start with medical malpractice, also referred to as ‘medical negligence.’ This occurs when a healthcare worker is negligent, or administering care outside of their licensed scope, and a patient is harmed. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. You can be the victim of medical malpractice at any stage of the treatment process from diagnosis to follow up. Medical malpractice can also lead to a wrongful death claim if negligence directly resulted in the death of the patient.
Wrongful Death has a wider scope under the law than medical malpractice. While medical malpractice is limited to the actions of those administering medical care, wrongful death may be defined as the legal claim that something or someone caused the death of another. This can cover a myriad of events from nursing home abuse and neglect, defective products, dog bites, recalled motor vehicles, assault, and automobile accidents caused by negligence.
The main difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death lies in their definitions. Medical malpractice involves negligence while wrongful death is a legal claim. Medical malpractice can result in a wrongful death claim. A lawyer can help you navigate these definitions and how to proceed.
If you believe you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice or wrongful death, it is important to contact an attorney right away as there is a relatively short amount of time to file your case. Contact our attorneys today for more information and a free case evaluation.