Causes of Wrongful Death

Posted By Kelvin on Jan 26, 2017 | 0 comments


Catastrophes have left many individuals dead and a lot more severely injured, forever changing the lives of the members of the family of the deceased. Catastrophes can happen anytime and anywhere, wreaking huge amounts in property damages and claiming many lives. Most often than not, catastrophes are results of human error or man’s negligent and careless behavior. The sinking of the Titanic, which took the lives of more than 1,500 passengers; the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989, which resulted to 10.8 million gallons of oil being spilled into the waters of Prince William Sound; the Piper Alpha Oil Rig fire in 1988 that claimed the lives of 167 workers and caused damages amounting to $3.4 billion – these and many more (such as fires, methane hydrate eruptions, and scaffoldings, tower cranes, roofs, stadiums or houses suddenly collapsing) are some of the most common catastrophic events that have marred the flow of time. More than damage to property, though, which can be replaced with proper funding, the most painful effect of catastrophes is wrongful death. Wrongful death is a legal claim made by the beneficiaries or survivors of a person who has died, against the liable party. This is claim for damages that includes loss of earnings that the deceased could have still been able to earn, medical expenses prior to death, and loss of consortium (removal of the benefits of a relationship, including sexual, because of the injuries or death caused by a negligent party). Wrongful death, however, occurs not only due to catastrophic events. In many occasions, these occur due to mistakes made by professionals, such as doctors, surgeons, dentists, and other health-care providers. Take, for instance, the case of a young girl, who was diagnosed as simply suffering from a bellyache; a few minutes later, her appendix ruptured, causing her extreme pain. Worse, though, was the case of a teenager who complained of fever and chills. He was given Tylenol and was sent home to rest, only to die a few hours later due to sepsis, an infection in the blood. Medical errors, which are preventable, claim as many as 98,000 lives in the US every year, as shown in the records of the Institute of Medicine, an American non-profit, non-governmental research organization. Medical errors are consequences of the negligence or carelessness of nurses, doctors and many other health-care professionals; these can occur through many different types, the most common of which, include wrong or delayed diagnosis, surgical mistakes and emergency room negligence. A study made by the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms the reality of errors in emergency rooms and that these cause almost half of all deaths due to medical malpractice. Some of the health problems most frequently misdiagnosed in ERs are aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, stroke and heart attack. A number of the reported reasons for ER errors that can lead to severe complications or death include poor communication between nurses and doctors, shortage of doctors, failure to communicate vital information regarding patient’s condition, lack of timely access to lab report, overworked and stressed nurses and staff, over-crowding and prolonged waiting time. Accidents or errors resulting to the death of someone can devastate the family of the victim. It will be more painful if the wrongful death of an innocent victim was due to a careless mistake made by another. The consequences to the loved ones or dependents of the victim are often both emotional and financial. It may be wise to contact a wrongful death lawyer if you lost someone in an accident or after hospitalization just to know if there is a legal action worth pursuing, to bring the liable party to justice.

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