The Difference Between Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Cases?
Wrongful death and medical malpractice cases can be difficult to deal with—especially when a person does not understand the differences between them. These differences can be subtle or difficult to identify at times, but they are nonetheless essential. Corradino & Papa, LLC is a personal injury firm well-respected throughout New Jersey. They have recently provided the following information on the differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death so that potential claimants throughout the state can be better informed.
Cause and Effect: An Important Consideration
The simplest way to think about the difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death is as follows: medical malpractice may be responsible for wrongful death; however, not all wrongful death stems from a clear-cut case of medical malpractice. To better understand the differences between these concepts, it may be necessary to define each of them separately. Below are the distinct definitions of each concept:
- Medical Malpractice: medical malpractice occurs when a health practitioner
demonstrates negligence and causes harm to the patient as a result.
- Wrongful Death: wrongful death may be present when negligence, lack of action, or carelessness on the part of one party directly causes the death of another party.
There are many potential causes of either medical malpractice or wrongful death, and both can apply in specific circumstances. For example, negligence on the part of a doctor or nurse that directly led to the death of a person could be classified as wrongful death and medical
malpractice. However, wrongful death claims face certain restrictions that individuals should be aware of before they file a suit.
Considerations for Wrongful Death Suits
Firstly, wrongful death must be filed for within a specified period after the death itself. In most states, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of the death. Furthermore, wrongful death can normally only be claimed by the estate or closest living relative of the deceased. Wrongful death cases may also result in different damages being claimed than those claimed in cases of medical malpractice.
Damages that can be claimed for Wrongful Death:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of financial support provided by the deceased
- Funeral costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of nurturing or guidance if the deceased has children (and under applicable state laws)
Damages that can be claimed for Medical Malpractice:
- Lost wages as the result of extended treatment or wasted time
- Costs relating to disabilities or disfigurements caused by the malpractice
- Other medical expenses
- Punitive damages
State laws and specific circumstances can have a significant impact on the kinds of benefits you may be entitled to as the result of either type of suit, and you may still need help deciding which type of suit will serve your best interests. In such cases, it is advisable to seek out the services of a qualified legal practice