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Wrongful Death Due to Medical Negligence

By Hess & Nghiem on March 2, 2020

Death is a natural part of life, but when a death occurs prematurely at the hands of a trusted medical professional, you may be able to pursue compensation with the help of an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer. California law allows the family members or personal representatives of a deceased individual to file a wrongful death claim under certain circumstances, one of them being if the individual died from medical negligence. 

What is Wrongful Death?

When a death occurs because of an intentional, reckless, or negligent action by another party, a wrongful death claim could be filed on their behalf. In general, if the deceased person was still alive and they could file a personal injury claim, a representative could file a wrongful death claim for them upon their death.  

A wrongful death lawsuit can arise out of a number of claims, such as a car accident, a defective product, or even medical malpractice. In fact, medical negligence is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, next only to heart disease and cancer.  Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional such as a doctor or a nurse owes a duty of care to a patient yet fails to adhere to that duty of care, causing injuries and damages. Many California injury lawyers file wrongful death claims for clients who have lost loved ones due to the mistakes of medical professionals. 

Damages Available to Wrongful Death Medical Negligence Plaintiffs

Under the law, family members – including the surviving spouse or children – can file a wrongful death claim seeking damages for their losses. Some losses that might be recovered in this type of case include:

  • Reasonable cost for the deceased person’s funeral and burial 
  • Medical expenses resulting from the deceased person’s final illness or injury
  • Lost wages and benefits, including those the decedent could potentially have earned if they had lived
  • Lost household services
  • Loss of companionship, care, and affection of the deceased individual
  • Loss of financial support

Additionally, in some cases, an experienced attorney in Santa Ana might be able to garner exemplary or punitive damages on behalf of the deceased’s estate. These types of damages are not awarded to compensate the victim but rather to punish the defendant for their poor conduct and reckless behavior that led to the wrongful death. Courts often award these types of damages to help prevent future reckless behavior and to send a message that it will not be tolerated. These damages are only available if the actions of the medical professional were particularly egregious. 

Schedule a Consultation with a Compassionate Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If your loved one lost their life due to medical negligence, you have several options for legal recourse to explore. With reliable legal assistance, you could receive compensation for your loss. Call (657) 333-5726 or complete our online contact form to schedule your consultation with an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney at Hess & Nghiem today.  We know how difficult this time of life can be, and we are here to help. 

Posted in: Wrongful Death