When a family member goes into a hospital for routine surgery or medical treatment and dies, it is tragic. the sense of loss and grief could be overwhelming. However, if you believe that a doctor or the hospital was negligent and caused the death, sadness could be overcome by anger. Fortunately, you do have legal recourse. Rice, Murtha & Psoras represents families and individuals in wrongful death claims against Maryland hospitals. Below, our Maryland wrongful death attorney discusses holding a hospital liable for your loved one’s death.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Maryland Hospitals
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed by an eligible surviving family member of the person killed because of another party’s negligence. As with any medical malpractice lawsuit, a claimant is entitled to file a lawsuit against a treating physician, nurse, lab technician, and the hospital itself. In fact, in many cases, there is more than one person liable for a patient’s death. You are not required to prove that the actions of one doctor caused the death of your loved one. Often, it will be a series of errors and mistakes that resulted in the devastating loss of your family member.
When you sue a hospital for the wrongful death of someone, it typically arises from a case of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs with the treatment your loved one received deviated from the established and acceptable professional standard of medical care. Some common types of medical malpractice that result in the untimely death of an individual are listed below.
- Misdiagnosis or non-diagnosis of a medical condition
- Misinterpreting diagnostic tests
- Surgical errors
- Failure to provide adequate post-operative care
- Medication mistakes, either in prescribing or administering
- Unsanitary conditions
- Patient falls or is mishandled
Suing a Maryland Hospital for Wrongful Death
Medical malpractice and wrongful death claims are complicated and require our experienced Baltimore wrongful death attorney. Therefore, the first thing you should do if you suspect that your loved one died due to medical negligence is to contact our office.
To start building a case, you need to gather all the relevant documentation and information you have. You should provide our office with any messages, emails, voicemails, paperwork, or any correspondence from the hospital or medical staff. This evidence could help form the foundation of a successful wrongful death claim.
Our attorney and staff will then continue to gather evidence, including interviewing hospital personnel, reviewing medical records, conducting background checks, employing medical experts, and reviewing previous hospital lawsuits.
Often, including a hospital in a wrongful death claim is vital in receiving the compensation you deserve. When you file a lawsuit seeking financial damages, you want to ensure that whoever you are suing has the ability to pay the settlement amount or jury award. Hospitals usually have more significant medical malpractice insurance coverage than individual physicians or other medical professionals. Therefore, naming the hospital to your lawsuit increases the chances of receiving the full amount of a judgment award.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against a Maryland Hospital
When you file a wrongful death claim, you are seeking monetary compensation for your financial losses and emotional pain. In Maryland, there are typically two types of damages available: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are the easiest to understand. You are entitled to recover your out-of-pocket expenses related to the wrongful death. These expenses include the cost of medical treatment, the funeral, and burial. Additionally, in a wrongful death claim, you could be awarded the income your loved one would have earned had they not been the victim of a fatal medical error. Our Bethesda wrongful death lawyer will work with economic and vocational experts to calculate what that income would have been. There is no limit on the amount of financial damages you could be awarded.
Noneconomic damages are awarded for the emotional pain and suffering your endured because of the untimely death. While challenging to calculate, these damages include ambiguous concepts such as grief and the loss of companionship, advice, or consortium. We will work closely with you to determine precisely how the death impacted your life. Unfortunately, Maryland caps the amount of noneconomic damages a claimant could receive. the limit depends on when the death occurred. If it was in 2020, your damages are capped at $890,000. If earlier, the cap will be lower.
Statute of Limitations to Sue a Hospital for Wrongful Death in Maryland
You do not have an infinite amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. Under Maryland’s statute of limitations, a claimant has three years from the death to file a lawsuit. it is important to note that the time does not begin from the hospital’s or other medical professionals’ negligent error. it is not uncommon for a person to die months or years after a medical mistake. Therefore, a person could have pursued their own medical malpractice lawsuit, followed by a wrongful death claim by a family member if they should die due to complications related to the malpractice.
While three years might appear to be a long time, you should not hesitate in contacting our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys. As stated earlier, wrongful death claims arising from medical malpractice are complicated and building a case takes time. If you wait too long, vital evidence could be lost, making a challenging case even more difficult.
Contact Our Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney if Your Lost a Loved One Because of a Hospital’s Negligence
We place our faith and the lives of our loved ones in the hands of medical professionals and hospitals. While every condition is not treatable, we believe that a family member will not lose their life due to the negligence or carelessness of the hospital or its staff. Our Maryland personal injury attorney is dedicated to holding hospitals, healthcare facilities, and medical professionals accountable for their fatal errors. If you lost a loved one or family member, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.