The third largest cause of death in the United States is preventable medical errors, right after heart disease and cancer! They also cost billions of dollars and countless injuries. They are also hard cases to prove. Medical errors that cause death aren't always cut and dry as there are so many mitigating factors involved, and medical mistakes can blend into the routine fatalities normally associated with healthcare. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association there are 12,000 deaths a year from unnecessary surgery, 7000 deaths/year from hospital medication errors, 20,000 deaths from other hospital errors, 80,000 deaths attributed to infections in the hospital, and 106,000 non-error adverse reactions to medications.
If you believe your loved one's death was caused by a medical error, you need to contact a skilled Kentucky attorney who is proficient in medical malpractice lawsuits. While this is a painful time for you and the grieving process is still going on, you need to put your case in the hands of an attorney you trust to take some of the burden off of you. The case must be thoroughly investigated and filed in a timely manner according to the statute of limitations for you to be able to receive compensation for your losses. If the deceased was the family breadwinner, along with the unending medical expenses, you have lost income now and any future earnings they may have provided. Pain and suffering along with loss of consortium and emotional distress also need to be considered.
Your attorney must show that the death was caused by medical malpractice in some form and not just the unfortunate outcome that was unavoidable. They must prove that it was caused by negligent behavior on behalf of a surgeon, the anesthesiologist, nursing mistakes, medication mistakes, the attending doctor or lack of sanitary conditions or methods that caused a lethal infection to occur. They will then make the decision, after a thorough investigation, as to which party or parties to charge in the lawsuit. The negligence of the offending party should be that their action or failure to act caused the death of your loved one and that they did not use the proper care and judgment that would be used by a like professional in their field. When seeking medical help, you expect a certain standard of care and your health provider has a legal and moral obligation to provide it.
There are certain legalities involving who can file a wrongful death claim and your lawyer will go over all that with you. If you have been named executor of the estate by the deceased, you are entitled to file a lawsuit, if not, the court would appoint a legal representative. If you are the spouse, parent or child of the deceased you would more than likely be the first consideration. Your attorney will painstakingly evaluate statements and records from all of the medical procedures, interview doctors and nurses and bring in expert witnesses with extensive knowledge in the medical arena to help prove your case. During the discovery phase of your claim, your lawyer will collect relevant documents, subpoena witnesses and collect depositions from all on-scene witnesses to the events leading up to the catastrophe. If the person or company you are bringing the suit against offers to settle before trial, your attorney will advise you on what is a fair settlement. If the offer is not adequate in covering all your expenses, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a larger amount and if they are unsuccessful, they will then prepare your case for trial.