Seeking medical help for any type of injury (accident, slip and fall, illness) that ends up fatally for the patient, is considered a wrongful death. Medical malpractice that risks the health of the patient or leads to death, puts the patient and their family and heirs in a position to seek a wrongful death claim.
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider is negligent which leads to complications in the patient’s health, or ends fatally. Make sure to hire a personal injury or wrongful death attorney for such cases.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice specifically discusses cases of medical negligence. Wrongful death cases may occur in a variety of circumstances and the death may be caused by the following:
- Medical malpractice
- Defective medical devices
- Birth injuries
- Auto accidents caused by negligence
- Nursing home abuse or negligence
- Assault (even if the death wasn’t unintentional)
- Dangerous vehicles
- Recalled or dangerous food sold in grocery stores or restaurants
Medical Malpractice Leads to Wrongful Death
The differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death are clear (especially in legal terms). However, there are some things about these two concepts. In most cases, the person who files for a wrongful death claim is the victim’s closest relative (child, spouse, or parent). An executor of the deceased person can also file a claim (only if this person is identified in a will, rather than the estate being handled by next to kin).
Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
If a patient wins a claim of medical malpractice, they may be able to collect compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. In case the patient dies from medical malpractice, their family members may be able to collect damages through a wrongful death claim.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Economic damages, also known as special damages, compensate a victim for financial costs related to medical malpractice. These damages cover medical expenses related to the treatment or therapy; economic damages also cover lost income if the victim’s injuries prevent them from working. Economic damages may be supported by medical bills, but in some cases, an expert would have to testify to support a request for future damages or more complicated items of damages.
Non-economic damages (general damages) can’t be easily quantified in an exact dollar amount. These damages cover the pain and suffering that the victim suffered in addition to any loss in their quality of life. Non-economic damages often require support by documentation, witness testimony from the victim and their family members, friends, and even experts.
These damages aren’t common but may be awarded in extreme cases. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the healthcare provider for their conduct. These damages send a message to all medical professionals to work carefully.
Suing for Medical Malpractice in New York
In the state of New York, you can bring a case of medical malpractice if you’re an injured patient. The case can be brought by any licensed health care provider (doctor, nurse, mental care professional, and physical therapist).
The law in New York puts a set period for which a medical malpractice claim may be filed. Most medical malpractice cases settle in court before the case gets to the trial stage. Unlike many states, New York doesn’t put a limit on the monetary amount of the damages the plaintiff can collect.
How Long do I have to file a Medical Malpractice Case in New York?
Before you file a claim of malpractice against a healthcare provider, make sure you are permitted to do that. New York Law mandates that a personal injury must be filed within two-and-a-half years from the date of the injury. If you decide to file a claim once the statute of limitations has passed, a court can dismiss your case so you won’t be able to collect a settlement. The time limitation is essential since with time the crucial evidence may become less compelling.
This statute of limitations won’t begin until your injury has been discovered (this rule is called the “discovery rule”).
If you or your loved one were a victim of medical malpractice, no matter the outcome (worsened health or death), you should seek help from a personal injury attorney. Filing a lawsuit, seeking a claim, and understanding the process may be challenging. Your attorney would help you with everything. If you need the help of this type, our attorneys at Cellino Law will offer it to you; we’ll review your case and guide you into the process.