Losing a spouse is an incredibly difficult experience, and when that loss is a result of medical malpractice, the pain can be compounded by a sense of injustice. In such unfortunate circumstances, understanding your legal rights becomes crucial. This article aims to shed light on the legal recourse available to spouses who have lost their loved ones due to medical malpractice.
Recognizing Medical Malpractice:
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional’s actions deviate from the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm or death to the patient. Recognizing signs of malpractice is the first step in pursuing legal action. Common examples include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, or failure to obtain informed consent.
Initiating a Wrongful Death Claim:
In cases where a spouse has lost their life due to medical malpractice, surviving spouses may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims seek compensation for the financial and emotional losses suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the negligence or misconduct of a healthcare professional.
To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim, it is crucial to establish liability. This involves proving that the healthcare professional or institution breached the standard of care, directly causing the death of the spouse. Gathering evidence such as medical records, expert testimonies, and eyewitness accounts is essential in building a strong case.
Surviving spouses may be eligible for various types of damages, including economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages may cover medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, loss of earning capacity, and other tangible losses. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may encompass emotional pain and suffering, and loss of society and companionship.
Statute of Limitations:
It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the time frame within which a wrongful death claim must be filed. Statutes vary by state, so consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is crucial to ensure compliance with deadlines. Generally, in Michigan, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the negligence. A wrongful death claim must be commenced within 2 years of the date the personal representative is appointed and within 3 years after the limitations period has run on the underlying cause of action.
Hiring an Experienced Attorney:
Losing a spouse to medical malpractice is a devastating experience, but it’s important to know that legal recourse exists. By understanding your rights, recognizing malpractice, and seeking the guidance of a skilled attorney, you can take the necessary steps to pursue justice for your loved one and find closure in the face of such a tragic loss.
Navigating the complexities of a medical malpractice case requires legal expertise. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney can make a significant difference in the success of your claim. At Hoffer & Sheremet PLC, we exclusively practice malpractice law. This makes us leading experts in the field.
If you think your doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider made a mistake, you’ll want to work with the best medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan. To get started, call our medical malpractice lawyers at 616-278-0888, complete our free consultation form, or send us an email. Many times we can tell you if you have a valid claim in our initial phone consultation. No appointment is necessary for an initial phone consultation.