Healthcare practitioners have a legal duty to give care commensurate with their knowledge, training, skills and experience. When they fail in that duty and it causes a patient actual harm, that may be considered malpractice.
Wrongful death, on the other hand, is a death that results from legal negligence. Medical malpractice can result in wrongful death, but wrongful death is not limited to medical malpractice.
If you believe that someone you know died as a result of negligence or medical malpractice, contact the Law Offices of Tim Misny right away. Here’s an overview of the difference between these types of claims.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare practitioner or facility falls below the generally accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to a patient. This includes prescribing the wrong medication, performing the wrong operation, leaving medical instruments inside the body cavity after surgery, failing to diagnose a condition, misdiagnosis and more.
This type of personal injury case has far stricter requirements than many other personal injury types. For example, the plaintiff must have another medical professional review the case records and file an “affidavit of merit” attesting that the doctor believed malpractice has occurred. The statute of limitations may also be shorter than other personal injury cases.
Finally, the standard of care required is different. Healthcare practitioners’ conduct is judged by what someone of similar education, skills and training would have done in the same position.
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death occurs when someone breaches their duty of care to another person, and that breach causes that person to die. A common example is drunk driving: if a driver kills someone else while driving under the influence, they can be held liable for wrongful death.
It’s important to understand that wrongful death suits are brought on behalf of the deceased and their estate. Any compensation recovered is distributed to a specific set of people: usually the surviving spouse, children or parents of the person killed.
Wrongful death can result from a number of negligence acts, including medical malpractice and drunk driving. Slip-and-fall and premises liability accidents, construction accidents, car accidents and more can all lead to wrongful death lawsuits.
If your loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have a limited amount of time to file suit. Call the Law Offices of Tim Misny to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits and what your legal options may be.
Discuss your case with a Columbus wrongful death attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your wrongful death case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.