Pursuing a wrongful death claim is always a tough decision to make. Sometimes it can bring up old feelings from when your loved one passed and resentment towards the guilty party. However, you may consider filing a wrongful death claim in the event that a person passed due to the negligence of a person or entity to bring about justice for your loved one. Wrongful death claims tend to be a complex process, especially when you are up against a large entity such as a hospital. A wrongful death attorney will be able to communicate with the hospital and their insurance company so that you can give yourself the needed time and space to grieve your loved one. The following includes some of the most common wrongful deaths that can take place in the emergency room. Misdiagnosis or treating someone for the wrong illness or problem, not treating a person quickly enough, not examining the patient closely enough, error in medications by either giving someone the wrong medication or too much of something, and surgical mistakes like operating on the wrong side of the body.
Compensation and Punitive Damages
The family of a loved one who has passed away too soon due to a negligence act may be entitled to collect damages in a wrongful death case. This is especially the case if an attorney is able to prove that the family has taken on additional expenses as the result of a loved one’s death. If the family members were financially dependent on the person who died, they may also be entitled to collect compensation for lost wages. Other types of damages that could be collected are:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
Punitive damages are part of the compensation that the claimants can be awarded in a wrongful death case. It is important to note that wrongful death claims are not part of criminal court as they are civil cases. Punitive damages are put in place to require the negligent party to pay penance for the wrong doing that they are guilty of. As a result, if a defendant is required to pay for damages in a wrongful death case, they are not sentenced to time in prison. Determining whether or not someone will serve time is part of the criminal court process, which is separate from civil court. When the defendant is ordered to pay damages in a wrongful death claim, those who brought forth the wrongful death suit receive the money.
Contact an Attorney
Please do not hesitate to reach out to a wrongful death lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL offers today. We can coach you through the process and help you decide if you would like to proceed with your claim.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., for their insight into wrongful death claims.