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The Lawrence Firm Blog

The difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death

If you have a loved one that sadly passed away in hospital, you may feel dissatisfied with the services offered at the hospital. You may even feel that how your loved one was treated contributed to their death. If this is the case, you should consider taking legal action so that justice is done and so that medical practices at the hospital can be improved.

There are two possible routes that you can take when filing for damages after the death or injury of a loved one in a hospital. You can decide to either file a wrongful death lawsuit or file a medical malpractice claim. In many cases, you may be able to claim for both. The following is an overview of the differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Medical malpractice

Medical malpractice is defined as any type of negligent behavior that takes place in a hospital and causes damages to the patient. The death of a patient does not need to have occurred for a medical malpractice claim to be brought about. The negligence could relate to the conduct of a specific nurse or doctor, or it could relate to the systematic procedures put in place at the hospital. There are often caps to the amount of damages that can be awarded to a person as the result of a medical malpractice claim. This is why it is usually beneficial to a plaintiff to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of a person in a hospital.

Wrongful death

Wrongful death can occur in many different circumstances, and it’s not just limited to the medical industry. Wrongful death can occur in a fatal accident involving a drunk driver, or when a person is killed in the workplace. In a similar way to medical malpractice, it is necessary to show that negligence was present. In addition, it must be shown that the negligent actions led to the death of the person in question.

If you have lost a loved one, you may be able to claim damages for the loss of affection you have suffered as a result of their death, the pain and suffering caused, and for the financial damages that the tragic incident caused.


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We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.