Medical Malpractice is an injury or harm caused to a patient through the negligence of a health care provider. The majority medical professionals always act for the well-being of a patient, but in some instances, doctors do not follow the proper procedure or standard of care. If the injured party files a medical malpractice action, the burden of proof will be on him or her to show this. The medical standard of care is simply defined as what a diligent and committed medical provider would do given similar circumstances.
In almost all cases of medical malpractice, the injured patient is the party that should file the lawsuit against the responsible medical provider. However, if the medical malpractice resulted in loss of life or severe damages such as brain injuries, there are other parties or persons who can file the claim on behalf of the injured person.
No matter the severity of injuries sustained in a medical malpractice, the injured person reserves the right to appoint someone else to represent them in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is often a qualified medical malpractice attorney, although if the injured person continues to have serious health problems, it may be a friend or family member . In either case, the injured party exercises their power to appoint someone who may bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the medical malpractice. In most cases, such delegation of power from an injured person to a third party is often witnessed in nursing homes where a family member takes over the power of attorney on behalf of their loved one to begin the legal process.
In the event that the injured person losses their life due to medical malpractice, an authorized person, on behalf of the deceased’s estate, may bring forward a claim against the responsible parties. This person is entitled to the receive the same compensation that the deceased would have received, if he or she were still alive. But in the event that the patient dies due to unrelated causes, the medical malpractice claim will be much more difficult to prove. Regardless of your situation, it is advisable to seek the services of a competent medical malpractices lawyer who will work closely with medical experts to determine the cause of death.
The deceased’s will may also may name the official executor for the management of the deceased’s estate. If none is mentioned, or the decedent died without a will, the court may appoint an executor. The court will often appoint the closest family member, or one who is best situated to take on the responsibility. In this case, the executor (or depending on the circumstances and your location, the “administrator”) retains all the rights of the deceased. These rights include the right to initiate a medical malpractice action, and the right to receive and manage any money to come from the lawsuit.
If the injured person was married, their spouse will likely have the right to sue the responsible parties for loss of companionship, loss of consortium, or loss of livelihood (in cases where the decadent was the sole breadwinner of the family). On the same note, any child of the injured party have equal rights when it comes to seeking justice for the loss of parental consortium which comes in form of love, emotional support, care and affection.
Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer near you is recommended if you are not sure of the steps to take when seeking justice for medical malpractice. Your lawyer will be able to assess the events that led to the malpractice and advise you accordingly on the next steps for your case.