How can you sue a hospital for wrongful death due to medical malpractice?

By VSCP LAW

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.

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