Wrongful Death Archives -

When your loved one’s death is caused by the actions (or inactions) of another person, you may have a wrongful death claim. We get calls from a lot of grieving families seeking to sue others for the wrongful death of their loved one. There is a wide variety of different contexts in which their loved ones have died, but there are some categories for this type of claim that are more common than others. Below are the top five most common claims in wrongful death lawsuits.

Motor vehicle accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 5-6 million motor vehicle accidents per year across the United States. Of those, around 34,000 involve fatalities where at least one person (either the driver or passenger) has died. Sometimes, there is no one at fault – for example, the accident happened because a deer jumped into the road unexpectedly. But, more often with the calls we get, the accident has occurred because someone wasn’t driving carefully. In those cases, when we can link the careless or negligent actions of someone else, we file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the grieving family. 

Surgical errors

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, gauze or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia. Your wrongful death lawyer can evaluate the actions and inactions of the surgical team who rendered you care and determine whether they committed medical malpractice.

Misdiagnosis

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to death. The more common conditions that doctors misdiagnose are heart attacks and strokes. For heart attacks, for instance, a woman might come to the doctor with complaints of nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue and the doctor will incorrectly diagnose her as suffering from premenstrual syndrome or indigestion. For strokes, for instance, a patient can come to their doctor with severe head pain and disorientation. The doctor misdiagnoses them with a migraine. In both of these cases, failure to properly diagnose the condition could lead to the patient’s death.

Delayed Diagnosis

There are many medical conditions that require prompt intervention by healthcare professionals. For example, when cancer is detected, a team of doctors start to plan treatment. Treatment could include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. All of these treatments must be done as expediently as possible because untreated cancer can grow and become deadly. But these treatments won’t become part of a patient’s care plan if no one diagnoses them with cancer. We often get calls from people whose loved one’s doctor failed to notice cancer on their diagnostic test and thus treatment for that loved one was delayed. If a doctor fails to timely diagnose cancer in a patient, they are reducing the likelihood of the patient’s recovery from it and increasing the likelihood that the patient will die from it.

Workplace accidents

Another area that clients call us about is workplace accidents. This can include, for example, someone falling to their death on a construction site or someone in a manufacturing warehouse being exposed to a toxic chemical. Related to the above category, this also often includes workers who are killed in a motor vehicle accident while transporting products for work.

Our goal, as wrongful death attorneys in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, is to help people who have lost a loved one and seek justice on their behalf. If you believe your loved one died due to the misconduct of someone else, contact us today at VSCP Law.

When your loved one’s death is caused by the actions (or inactions) of another person, you may have a wrongful death claim. We get calls from a lot of grieving families seeking to sue others for the wrongful death of their loved one. There is a wide variety of different contexts in which their loved ones have died, but there are some categories for this type of claim that are more common than others. Below are the top five most common claims in wrongful death lawsuits.

Motor vehicle accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 5-6 million motor vehicle accidents per year across the United States. Of those, around 34,000 involve fatalities where at least one person (either the driver or passenger) has died. Sometimes, there is no one at fault – for example, the accident happened because a deer jumped into the road unexpectedly. But, more often with the calls we get, the accident has occurred because someone wasn’t driving carefully. In those cases, when we can link the careless or negligent actions of someone else, we file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the grieving family.

Surgical errors

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, gauze or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia. Your wrongful death lawyer can evaluate the actions and inactions of the surgical team who rendered you care and determine whether they committed medical malpractice.

Misdiagnosis

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to death. The more common conditions that doctors misdiagnose are heart attacks and strokes. For heart attacks, for instance, a woman might come to the doctor with complaints of nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue and the doctor will incorrectly diagnose her as suffering from premenstrual syndrome or indigestion. For strokes, for instance, a patient can come to their doctor with severe head pain and disorientation. The doctor misdiagnoses them with a migraine. In both of these cases, failure to properly diagnose the condition could lead to the patient’s death.

Delayed Diagnosis

There are many medical conditions that require prompt intervention by healthcare professionals. For example, when cancer is detected, a team of doctors start to plan treatment. Treatment could include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. All of these treatments must be done as expediently as possible because untreated cancer can grow and become deadly. But these treatments won’t become part of a patient’s care plan if no one diagnoses them with cancer. We often get calls from people whose loved one’s doctor failed to notice cancer on their diagnostic test and thus treatment for that loved one was delayed. If a doctor fails to timely diagnose cancer in a patient, they are reducing the likelihood of the patient’s recovery from it and increasing the likelihood that the patient will die from it.

Workplace accidents

Another area that clients call us about is workplace accidents. This can include, for example, someone falling to their death on a construction site or someone in a manufacturing warehouse being exposed to a toxic chemical. Related to the above category, this also often includes workers who are killed in a motor vehicle accident while transporting products for work.

Our goal, as wrongful death attorneys in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, is to help people who have lost a loved one and seek justice on their behalf. If you believe your loved one died due to the misconduct of someone else, contact us today at VSCP Law.

 

When someone dies and their family successfully sues the party responsible for the death, the family may recover compensation for the loss of their family member. There are two possible avenues for the family to collect money: Wrongful Death and Survival Action. They are not the same. Read on to learn the difference.

Wrongful Death

Under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act, the family of the deceased may collect:

         Past Lost Contributions. This is the amount that the family has lost between the time of the death to the present. It includes the money the deceased family member would have spent on or given to his family for things like food, clothing, medical care, education, and even gifts and recreation.

         Future Loss of Contributions. This is the amount of money that fairly compensates the family for the loss of future gifts the deceased family member would have given. In other words, the contributions the deceased family member would make from today until the deceased family member would have died had there been no negligence. For instance, if the deceased family member had a life expectancy of 85 years, you would calculate how many years until she would have reached the age of 85 and you would be compensated for the loss of her contributions for that period of time.

         Past and Future Noneconomic Damages. When someone dies, they can no longer give their family their companionship, emotional comfort, sense of humor, etc. The family can be compensated for the profound emotional and psychological loss of their treasured family member.

Survival Action

Under the Pennsylvania Survival Action, the family member of the deceased person can collect:

         Past Lost Earnings. If there is a period of time that took place between the time of the negligent act and the time of the death, the family is entitled to be paid for the amount the deceased person would have earned in damages between those two events: negligence and death.

         Future Loss of Earnings. This amount covers how much the deceased family member would have earned from today to his life expectancy, as explained above.

         Past Noneconomic Damages. When someone is injured as the result of someone’s negligence, they don’t always die immediately. Sometimes, they could suffer briefly and sometimes they could suffer for a prolonged amount of time before they die. Whatever length that period is, it can be a category of damages. The family of the deceased person can recover money for the mental and physical pain, suffering, and loss of life’s pleasures from the moment she’s injured to the moment of her death.

It is often the case that the family is entitled to both Wrongful Death and Survival Action damages. It is up to your experienced wrongful death lawyer to plead these claims and ensure that you get the most compensation for your loss. To speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney, contact VSCP Law.

In personal injury cases, you can seek emotional distress damages. The emotional distress damages you can claim, however, depend on whether you, yourself, are the injured party or whether you are claiming emotional damages due to the physical injury to your family member.

Emotional Damages for You, the Injured Party

When you are injured, you have multiple possible avenues for claiming emotional damages, including:

Pain and Suffering.  This damage category includes the physical discomfort, mental anxiety, emotional distress, and inconvenience that you’ve suffered  – and will continue to suffer – as a result of your injury.

Embarrassment and humiliation. This refers to any feelings of shame, inferiority, humiliation, or inadequacy that you feel and will continue to feel as a result of your injury. 

Disfigurement. This damage category includes scarring, deformity, limp, or another observable defect that you suffer – and might continue to suffer – as a result of your injury. 

Loss of ability to enjoy life’s pleasures. This refers to the past and future loss of your ability to participate in hobbies, games, sports, or other activity, that you previously enjoyed. The activities don’t have to be physical, like biking or rock-climbing. Activities could include chess or reading. If you can no longer do those activities due to your injury, you can claim emotional distress as the result of having to discontinue them.

Emotional Damages for You as a Family Member of the Injured Party

When it is not you who was personally physically injured, but your family member, you can still make a claim for emotional damages. The courts call these damages Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Damages and in order to prove this, you need to establish that the defendant’s negligence caused your loved one to suffer a physical injury and you have suffered emotional distress as a result. There are different types of liability that would lead to this level of compensation, including:

Zone of Danger Liability. You could recover damages if you were near the point of impact. For example, if you were in the car with your wife during the accident in which your wife was injured, you were within the zone of danger and would likely have a successful claim for emotional distress.

Bystander Liability. If you witnessed the physical harm caused to your loved one, you are considered a bystander. For example, if you were in the room when a nurse administered the wrong medicine to your child, causing your child to suffer serious immediate injuries, you were a bystander and could collect compensation for your emotional distress.

If you or your loved one suffered a personal injury, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help you collect the appropriate damages. Contact the experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at VSCP Law.

It can be devastating when you realize that your loved one’s death could have been prevented with proper medical care, or proper care in other settings, such as the workplace. If you believe your loved one has died as a result of the actions or omissions of their healthcare providers or other individuals, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Read on to understand the various categories of wrongful death damages that you can recover.

Under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute, there are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, meaning the exact figure can be established with documentation. Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of an injury. Read on for the list of categories of compensation that your wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia can win for you:

ECONOMIC

Lost wages. If your deceased loved one was working and earning wages at the time of their death, you may be able to recover lost wages – that is, the wages that your loved one can no longer earn, in addition to the value of work-related benefits.  

Medical expenses. This category of compensation is related to the bills from the hospital, doctors, physical therapist, pharmacy, and any other healthcare service or provider that are related to your loved one’s death.

Burial/funeral costs. Burial, funeral, and all costs related to interment may be compensated.

Estate administration costs. When someone dies, their property becomes an estate. The estate has to be administered which could include paying utilities, storage, monthly housing fees, and taxes related to the decedent’s property, as well as paying the person who is in charge of making all these payments from the estate.

Costs of living. These are the costs that the decedent would have spent to support their family members had they not died. These costs may include food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education, and recreation.

NON-ECONOMIC

Loss of companionship, comfort, and society. Sometimes referred to as “loss of consortium,” this describes the loss of the benefits of having someone in your life. For a spouse of the decedent, this may include the loss of companionship, cooperation, affection, comfort, services, assistance, sexual relations, and emotional support. For a parent of a child who died, this may include the loss of the opportunity to witness certain milestones like walking, talking, riding a bike, and playing sports. For the child of a parent who died, this may include the loss of the deceased parent’s guidance, training, advice, education, care, comfort, moral upbringing, and emotional support.  

Pain and suffering. This category refers to the physical and emotional pain and suffering that the decedent underwent after the negligent action and before their actual death. Some pain is obvious because it’s accompanied by moans, groans, and/or winces; other pain is invisible because it’s experienced internally, but it is no less significant.

It goes without saying that no amount of money will take away the sadness you feel when your loved one dies. But, with the right wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia, you can at least rest assured that you will get the most compensation possible for your case.

If you believe your loved one has died as the result of someone else’s actions or inactions, contact the wrongful death lawyers at VSCP Law.

It is essential to know who represents the estate prior to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Connect with your wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia so they can help guide you through the confusing rules. Below is a selection of frequently asked questions (and corresponding answers) about wrongful death lawsuits in Pennsylvania.

WHAT IF THERE IS A WILL?

If the decedent died with a will, the person appointed in the will as the “executor” or “executrix” represents the estate of the decedent. This executor or executrix may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

WHAT IF THERE IS NO WILL?

If the decedent died without a will, usually a spouse or other family member would be assigned personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If there are no surviving family members, the court may appoint a close friend or someone else to be a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Whether a family member or not, the personal representative appointed by the court is called an “administrator” or “administratrix.” This administrator and administratrix may file a wrongful death suit.

WHO ELSE CAN SUE?

No one. Other than the court-appointed administrator or the will-stipulated executor (both referred to as the “personal representative”), no one else may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

WHAT DOES THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE HAVE TO DO BEFORE FILING THE WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the administrator or executor must “raise an estate” (or “open an estate”). They must go to the Register of Wills, armed with various documents such as a death certificate, a will (if there is one), valid ID, etc. The process can be complicated depending on whether there is a will, whether the will is contested, etc. Your wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia can walk you through the necessary steps so that you have what you need to file the wrongful death lawsuit.

WHEN DOES THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE HAVE TO FILE THE WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

Under the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute, the personal representative has two years after the official death date to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This restriction is typically referred to as the wrongful death statute or the statute of limitations.

Two years may seem like a long time, but the wrongful death attorneys will need ample time to investigate the circumstances surrounding the decedent’s death. They will need to order records such as medical records or employment records. They will need to talk with various individuals who were involved in or had substantial knowledge about the circumstances leading up to the death. Thus, in order to comply with the wrongful death statute of limitations, the personal representative should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

WHO COLLECTS COMPENSATION FROM THE WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

Under the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute, there is a limited selection of individuals who can collect wrongful death damages in Pennsylvania. The beneficiaries, and the specific percentages, are set by Pennsylvania statutes.

You should hire a wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia to help you with all of the difficult stages of the claim, including these very preliminary ones. To talk with an experienced wrongful death attorney, contact the lawyers at VSCP Law.

If you believe your loved one has died as the result of the actions or omissions of someone else, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Read on to understand what you should expect in your initial meetings with a wrongful death lawyer.

GATHER INFORMATION

When you meet with a wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia, try to have with you documents that will be necessary in determining whether you have a viable case. Documents that may be necessary include: death certificate, decedent’s work history, will, and medical records. Your wrongful death attorney will also want to review your loved one’s personal items, like their cell phone, which may have pictures, videos, emails, texts, and other media which may help establish their health and well-being prior to their death. All of this data, while admittedly personal, can help to build the wrongful death case. Your wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia has the difficult task of piecing all of these items together to establish liability on the part of the defendants, as well as to build the damages portion of the case.

IDENTIFY THE PLAINTIFF

The “plaintiff” is the person who has the right to sue — that is, to bring the wrongful death case. Your Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney will need to figure out whether you can be the plaintiff. Only personal representatives of the decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If the decedent died with a will, the person appointed in the will as the “executor” or “executrix” represents the estate of the decedent. This executor or executrix may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If the decedent died without a will, usually a spouse or other family member would be assigned personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If there are no surviving family members, the court may appoint a close friend or someone else to be a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Whether a family member or not, the personal representative appointed by the court is called an “administrator” or “administratrix.” This administrator or administrator may file a wrongful death suit.

Thus, if you are either the administrator/administratrix or the executor/executrix, you will be able to be the plaintiff and file the wrongful death lawsuit.

SIGN FORMS

Once it has been established that you are a personal representative (again, either an administrator or executor), you will have to sign various forms so that your Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney can file the lawsuit. The forms will give the wrongful death lawyer the right to obtain life insurance information, financial reports, employment records, and medical records to prove your case.

But before the Pennsylvania wrongful death lawyer can use any of these forms to obtain all that crucial information, you need to sign a Contingent Fee Agreement with them. This agreement establishes the client-attorney relationship. It stipulates that you, the client, do not need to pay the lawyer anything upfront. The lawyer will assume all the costs and expenses to build and try your case. The lawyer only gets paid back for all of those costs and expenses (and all of their time and effort) if the lawsuit is successful. So, in the event of a successful outcome, a portion of the award goes to your wrongful death lawyer.

To find a wrongful death lawyer in Pennsylvania who will build and try your case successfully, contact the attorneys at VSCP Law.

Wrongful death cases can be quite complicated. There are legal requirements related to filing an estate, the timing of your claim, and what damages you can claim. There are often complex medical records to review and understand. And there are the decisions – the countless decisions – that have to be made regularly to ensure that your case will have a successful outcome. Here are some ways in which a wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia can help you prove your wrongful death case.

FILING A TIMELY LAWSUIT

Under the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute, you have two years after the official death date to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This restriction is typically referred to as the wrongful death statute or the statute of limitations. 

Two years may seem like a long time, but your wrongful death attorney will need ample time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. They will need to order records such as medical records or employment records. They will need to talk with various individuals who were involved in or had substantial knowledge about the circumstances leading up to your loved one’s death. They will need to fully understand whether someone or multiple people are at fault for your loved one’s death. Thus, in order to comply with the wrongful death statute of limitations, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your loved one dies.

Wrongful death attorneys in Philadelphia understand the immense grief associated with wrongful death lawsuits, and will do everything in their power to work with you and ease your burdens during the stressful time after your loved one’s death.

SETTING UP AN ESTATE 

It is essential to know who represents the estate prior to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

If your loved one died without a will, usually a spouse or other family member may file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. If there are no surviving family members, the court may appoint a personal representative called an “administrator” or an “administratrix”.

If your loved one died with a will, the person appointed in the will as the “executor” may file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Your wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia will help you figure out who should represent the estate.

PRESERVING CRITICAL EVIDENCE 

A wrongful death attorney knows what actions must be taken early in the process such as, ordering an autopsy on the decedent. And when ordering the autopsy, an experienced wrongful death attorney knows whether to order toxicology along with the autopsy. Toxicology includes a search for chemicals or drugs in the blood, saliva, and urine. Obviously, this autopsy must be done prior to the burial or cremation so your wrongful death attorney will act swiftly to ensure that all necessary actions are taken before the decedent is buried.

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include police reports, witness statements, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death.

HIRING THE RIGHT (AND BEST) EXPERTS

Your wrongful death case is likely complicated. It will require expert review and analysis. Your wrongful death attorney has access to the best experts in the country and they will ensure that the most qualified experts review your case and write an ironclad report to bolster your claim in court.

HELPING YOU RECOVER MONEY DAMAGES

A wrongful death attorney evaluates the case with knowledge of all possible causes of action and claims for wrongful death damages.

Under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute, there are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, the exact figure can be established with documentation. They include lost wages, medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, and estate administration costs.

Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a wrongful death. They include loss of companionship and pain and suffering.

A wrongful death attorney can help you with all of the difficult stages of your lawsuit. To talk with an experienced wrongful death attorney, contact the lawyers at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com). 

 

If your loved one has died as the result of someone else’s actions or omissions, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. A wrongful death case cannot be successful without the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney. Read on to learn the top five reasons you should hire a wrongful death lawyer.

5. Your Wrongful Death Lawyer Will Help You Set Up an Estate 

It is essential to know who represents the estate prior to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

If your loved one died without a will, usually a spouse or other family member may file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. If there are no surviving family members, the court may appoint a personal representative called an “administrator” or “administratrix”.

If your loved one died with a will, the person appointed in the will as the “executor” or “executrix” may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Your wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia will help you figure out who should represent the estate.

4. Your Rights to File the Lawsuit Will be Protected

Under the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute, you have two years after the official death date to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This restriction is typically referred to as the wrongful death statute or the statute of limitations.  

Two years may seem like a long time, but your wrongful death attorneys will need ample time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. They will need to order records such as medical records or employment records. They will need to talk with various individuals who were involved in or had substantial knowledge about the circumstances leading up to your loved one’s death. They will need to fully understand whether someone or multiple people are at fault for your loved one’s death. Thus, in order to comply with the wrongful death statute of limitations, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your loved one dies.

Wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia understand the immense grief associated with wrongful death lawsuits, and will do everything in their power to work with you and ease your burdens during the stressful time after your loved one’s death.

3. They Will Help You Retain Critical Evidence

A wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia knows what actions must be taken early in the process such as, ordering an autopsy on the decedent. And when ordering the autopsy, an experienced wrongful death attorney knows whether to order toxicology along with the autopsy. Toxicology includes a search for chemicals or drugs in the blood, saliva, and urine. Obviously, this autopsy must be done prior to the burial so your wrongful death attorney will act swiftly to ensure that all necessary actions are taken before the decedent is buried.

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include police reports, witness statements, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death.

2. You Will Need Top-Notch Expert Review

Your wrongful death case is likely complicated. It will require expert review and analysis. Your wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia has access to the best experts in the country. Your wrongful death attorney will ensure that the most qualified experts review your case and write an ironclad report to bolster your claim in court.

1. Your Complaint Will Include All Necessary Claims for Compensation

A wrongful death attorney evaluates the case with knowledge of all possible causes of action and claims for wrongful death damages.

Under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute, there are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, the exact figure can be established with documentation. They include lost wages, medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, and estate administration costs. 

Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a wrongful death. They include loss of companionship and pain and suffering. 

You should hire a wrongful death attorney to help you with all of the difficult stages of the claim. To talk with an experienced wrongful death attorney, contact the lawyers at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com).

If you believe your loved one died as the result of the actions or omissions of his or her health care providers at a hospital, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Read on to understand what steps you should take to sue a hospital who may be liable for your loved one’s death.

1) HIRE A LAWYER. 

The first thing you should do is find a medical malpractice attorney — or a wrongful death attorney who has experience trying medical malpractice cases. This lawyer will be able to make sure you abide by all the necessary regulations, such as the wrongful death statute and the wrongful death statute of limitations. When you meet with this lawyer, you must provide as much information as you can about the circumstances before, during, and after your loved one died. That will enable your lawyer to evaluate the viability of the claim – that is, whether the claim is likely to be successful in court.

You should find medical malpractice lawyers who will take your case on a contingency basis. That means that the attorney gets paid contingent on the case being successful (either winning a plaintiff’s verdict at trial or receiving a payment through a settlement agreement). In a contingent based case, you don’t pay any money to the attorney to try your wrongful death case. When the case resolves in a successful verdict or settlement, the attorney is paid a percentage of the verdict or settlement amount.

2) PRESERVE RECORDS

It is imperative that all necessary records are preserved and not inadvertently destroyed. There are certain actions that must be taken early in the process such as ordering an autopsy for the decedent (which needs to take place before burial, obviously). Toxicology reports may be ordered as well – toxicology measures the amounts and types of chemicals or drugs in the blood, saliva, and urine. 

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include medical records, intake forms, labwork, prescription slips, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death (eg, prescription bottles, medical devices, etc).

Make sure you hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer so that they can guide you on how best to retain critical evidence, the addition or absence of which could determine the success (or failure) of your lawsuit.

3) IDENTIFY ALL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES 

Your wrongful death attorney will review all of the records and – with your help – identify all possible responsible parties. There may not be only one person whose negligence caused your loved one to die – there may be multiple people who all played a part in the tragedy. It might have been a nurse who handed the wrong tool to the surgeon. It may have been an assistant who was doing intakes in the medical office and wrote down the wrong information. It may have been the pharmacist who doled out the wrong dosage or potency of the medicine. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will know all of the parties involved and who should be added to the Complaint.  

4) SEEK EXPERT REVIEW

Your medical malpractice attorney has a collection of top-notch medical experts who can review the circumstances of the case and give an expert opinion as to the liability of the hospital and its staff. The expert has to be strategically selected – for instance, a cardiologist who has never operated on a patient should not give an expert opinion as to how to perform a quadruple bypass surgery. Your medical malpractice attorney will be able to find the perfect expert for your case. 

5) RESPOND TO YOUR LAWYER’S REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

Your lawyer will need information from you during the process. Be readily available for your lawyer so that the lawyer can gather the necessary information exactly as soon as possible. Your lawyer will do most of the hard work to make sure your lawsuit against the hospital is successful, but your lawyer certainly needs your cooperation to ensure the best possible outcome.

If you wish to sue a hospital for wrongful death due to medical malpractice, contact the premiere medical malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia – VSCP Law at vscplaw.com  – for a thorough evaluation of your claim.