Everyone has a right to be compensated when they lose a member of their family because of the negligence either of a hospital, doctor or nurse. Most of the wrongful death claims protect the dependents of the patient who died by providing them with compensation for the economic and non-economic losses they suffered as a result of the wrongful death which has been occurred.
A wrongful death case should be able to prove that there was medical negligence and that the same negligence has caused the death of the person. In the case of medical malpractice cases in which a death has happened, the damages that can be recovered vary from other types of medical malpractice cases.
One major difference between these two is the type of damages that can be claimed by the heirs of the person who has been dead. The pain and suffering the patient suffered before death cannot be recovered by the heirs in California. But, there is an exception to this rule and this involves elderly abuse. For example, if a patient who is in a nursing home was the victim of elderly abuse by the nursing home facility or staff, the family can sue for the pain and suffering the decedent suffered before death. This was added after many cases of elderly abuse were being reported and as the seniors are most vulnerable to abuse. This legislation was often helpful to send a strong signal to nursing homes to reduce the abuse that is taking place. But unfortunately, nursing home abuse cases still occur.
A causal connection between the negligence and cause of death must be established to prove a wrongful death claim in a medical malpractice case, which creates a challenge for the cases involving the elderly people or patients with complicated underlying medical conditions. In many cases, an autopsy may not be conducted; the opinion is left to the physician that treated the patient instead. Even though this creates a challenge, a medical malpractice attorney who has better knowledge and a strong medical background can often prove the causal connection.
Wrongful death cases can be very complex, especially when dealing with deaths of new-borns and the elderly. California medical malpractice and wrongful death laws are complicated as well. Therefore, it is very important to make sure the attorney is familiar with all the rules regarding wrongful death claims for the state of California when selecting a wrongful death lawyer.