When it comes to personal injury law, there are many different areas of expertise. Two areas that many people assume are the same or confuse for the other involve wrongful death and medical malpractice. We wanted to take a moment to explain what each of these are and what their differences are.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to a situation in which the carelessness and/or neglect of another person and/or their actions resulted in the death of another person. Wrongful death cases are civil cases, not criminal, and are filed on behalf of the family of the person who had passed away, and the damages that are sought are for the injuries that the family suffered as a result from their loved one’s death. Each state has different rules around how to file for wrongful death.
Wrongful death can be caused by many different types of negligence, including:
• Car accidents
• Slip and fall accidents
• Defective product accidents
• Ski accidents
Wrongful death cases can also be caused by medical negligence, at which case, two claims are typically brought forward.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare/medical provider (doctor, nurse, surgeon, medical team, and any other persons who provided medical care, as well as the medical facility) didn’t provide adequate and reasonable care for the situation. Three things must be present in order to be considered medical malpractice:
1) Duty – Duty is defined as the responsibility of the medical providers to act reasonably given the circumstances.
2) Breach – Breach occurs when the medical provider did not fulfill their duty; were negligent.
3) Damages – Damages are the injury that a person sustained because of the breach; can be both financial and non.
Some types of medical malpractice are:
• Failure to diagnose
• Poor follow-up care
• Misreading lab results
• Mistakes during surgery
• Incorrect medication and/or dosage
How are Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Different?
The main difference is that one act of negligence results in death, and the other act of negligence results in injury.
At Reinan Law, we are always looking out for our patients and their families. If you’re looking for a wrongful death lawyer in Denver, Colorado, look no further than our team. Contact Reinan Law today to learn more and schedule your consultation.