What must be demonstrated in a wrongful death suit?
Hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities in Texas have the unfortunate distinction of experiencing death on a routine basis. Most of these deaths are either expected or unavoidable; in some cases, however, the death of a patient could have been prevented. In others, the death is a direct result of a negligent or reckless act on the part of a doctor or other medical professional. In such scenarios, families of the deceased may wish to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
A successful wrongful death suit can accomplish several things for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. First, it can help a family obtain compensation for damages suffered as a result of a death caused by a medical mistake. Damages may include funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of companionship and loss of the deceased person's income. In addition, a wrongful death suit can hold a negligent party accountable and may even help ensure the individual or entity does not perform the same negligent action again.
A malpractice suit, however, must demonstrate several elements in order to show that a wrongful death actually occurred. First, there must be an actual death of a human being. That death must have been caused by the defendant's negligence. In some situations, the defendant's intent to cause harm takes the place of negligence in a wrongful death suit. The third element is the existence of family members who have suffered financially as a consequence of the fatal accident or intentional act. Finally, a personal representative must be appointed for the estate of the deceased individual.
Even if all four elements are clearly present, a wrongful death suit centering on a doctor mistake can be highly complex. A Houston medical malpractice firm can offer advice and guidance for families wanting to know if they have a case and, if so, how to begin a wrongful death suit.