When you lose a loved one, it can be difficult not to place blame. But, in some cases, blame is well-deserved. Such is the case when negligent or intentional actions lead to wrongful death.
In some cases, hospitals can be held responsible in wrongful death lawsuits. When this occurs, it may result in significant compensation for the family of the victim.
Compensation types may include loss of income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. An experienced wrongful death attorney can walk you through these options.
But first, it’s important to understand when a hospital can be held responsible for wrongful death.
Physician Negligence and Wrongful Death
Because many physicians are simply contractors that have privileges in specific hospitals, you may have to hold a negligent physician directly responsible for their actions.
Common examples of physician negligence include:
- Negligence in the timing and quality of treatment
- Severe surgical errors
- Improper prescription or medication administration
If you believe your loved one’s physician was guilty of negligence but are unsure if you can hold a hospital responsible for the hiring and training of said physician, it’s time to contact a wrongful death attorney for assistance and representation.
Nurse Negligence and Wrongful Death
Nurses are often hired, trained, and maintained by a third-party with no hospital association. For this reason, holding a nurse responsible for wrongful death can be tricky.
First, determine the origin of employment. If the hospital directly employed the nurse, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital. If a third-party supplied the nurse as part of a staffing arrangement, you may wish to name the individual nurse and the supplier as defendants.
Here are some common examples of nurse negligence or malpractice:
- Failure to monitor vital signs
- Failure to properly enter nursing history
- Administering the wrong medication
- Administering medication incorrectly
- Failure to report serious symptoms
- Failure to check a patient for bed sores
- Failure to report complaints
Hospital Negligence and Wrongful Death
A hospital may be held responsible for wrongful death if negligence in the hiring, training, and supervising of employees — as well as the maintenance and repairing of equipment — led to the death of a loved one.
Common examples of hospital negligence include:
- Failure to fire unlicensed or incompetent staff
- Failure to establish property safety protocols
- Failure to protect patient safety
- Failure to fully staff the hospital
Building Your Wrongful Death Case
As in all wrongful death cases, you’ll need to prove three things to win.
First, you’ll need to show that the hospital owed your loved one a certain standard of care. In short, you’ll need to prove the victim was a patient.
Second, you’ll need to show the hospital violated its standard of care. This may require expert witnesses, which can be found with the assistance of an attorney.
Finally, you’ll need to show that the death of your loved one was directly caused by this violation. There can be no doubt that your loved one would have survived if not for the negligent actions of the hospital.
Contact an Experienced Seattle Wrongful Death Attorney for Assistance
Have you lost a loved one due to hospital negligence? You may have a strong case for a wrongful death lawsuit. For assistance and representation, contact an experienced Seattle wrongful death attorney at Herschensohn Law PLLC by calling (206) 588-4344.