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What is Wrongful Death Malpratice?

By Pamela Pleasant
Updated May 17, 2024
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Wrongful death malpratice refers to legal action resulting from a death that has occurred possibly due to negligence. A doctor, dentist, or other health care professional can be sued if it is believed that his actions or inactions led to the death of a patient. These lawsuits are typically filed by people who were related to the deceased person. Wrongful death malpratice suits must include the exact cause of death and who can legally receive the settlement. Although a medically related death like this can occur in any setting, there are a few situations where they are more likely to happen.

Anytime a patient has a surgical procedure, there is an increased possibility for surgical mistakes or errors in judgment. These mistakes can lead to serious complications or even death. Using surgical instruments that are not sanitized, an incorrect placement of the incision, or surgery done on the wrong organ are all common errors that can frequently occur. The most common surgeries from which wrongful death malpratice suits result are cosmetic or plastic surgeries, laparoscopic surgeries, and problematic childbirths. There are an estimated 150 million surgical procedures done every year in the United States alone and there are always a percentage of errors that occur.

Taking prescription medications everyday can be imperative for some patients. Prescribing a wrong medication or an inappropriate dosage can result in a coma or even death. This is considered grounds for a wrongful death malpratice suit and the doctor can also be deemed as negligent. The pharmacy that filled the prescription, as well as the health care professional who wrote the prescription can also be held accountable for the mishap. The most common reason for wrongful death malpratice regarding medications is an error in the dosage.

Dentists and orthodontists can also make errors with patients. While performing oral surgery, there are many ways this can happen. A dental professional may make a misdiagnosis or be unaware of an oral disease or defect, which can result in death. Another common problem can result from using the incorrect amount of atheistic before surgery. Not using the proper dental instruments or puncturing the gum, causing excessive bleeding can also be grounds for wrongful death malpratice lawsuit.

Proving that a health care professional is responsible for a wrongful death in a malpratice suit can be difficult to do. It must be proven that the caregiver’s negligence resulted in the patient’s death. A lawyer who specializes in medical malpratice must also be used.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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