Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult things anyone can endure. Sometimes, death is sudden, while other times, the people you love will spend time in the hospital before their departure.
When a patient dies while in the hospital, it may be due to medical negligence or malpractice. In these cases, you may wonder if the hospital is at-fault in the death of your loved one.
In Florida, you can file a lawsuit that includes the healthcare professional responsible for care and the hospital. However, some specifics apply, which is why you should always consult a wrongful death attorney to find out if you can file a lawsuit for medical negligence.
When Can a Hospital Be Considered Liable for Wrongful Death?
Hospitals in Florida can be held liable for death due to medical negligence, even if it was not the direct fault of the hospital itself. As an example, if the death occurred due to the acting physician’s error, the hospital can be named in the lawsuit.
Florida’s “Right to Action” legislation statute section 768.19 states that when the death of a person is caused by negligence, wrongful acts, breach of contract, or default, then the estate of the deceased person can file a civil lawsuit.
Common Ways a Hospital Is Found Liable in Wrongful Death Cases
There are a few common ways that hospitals could be sued for wrongful death.
When a nurse, surgeon, physician, or other healthcare professional is the cause of a patient’s death, the hospital can be held liable. This is because it employed the at-fault party.
Hospital’s Negligence in Supervision or Hiring
Hospitals are supposed to screen employees carefully before hiring them. They must ensure they have the proper training and background checks. If a hospital hires a physician knowing they have a history of negligent practices, then it can be named in the lawsuit for wrongful death.
Faulty Facilities or Equipment
In some cases, it is the hospital facility itself or the equipment within that led to the death of the patient. As an example, equipment that is not sanitized could lead to an infection that caused the patient to pass.
In short, a hospital can be named in a wrongful death lawsuit for medical misdiagnosis, surgical errors, negligence with childbirth or pregnancy, insufficient monitoring practices for patients, drug administration errors, or not having enough medical personnel in each department for effective patient monitoring.
When Are Hospitals Not Considered Liable in a Wrongful Death Incidence?
Just because someone dies in a hospital, it does not automatically mean the hospital was liable. Hospitals can avoid liability in wrongful death cases with independent contractors. Some will employ physicians and other healthcare professionals as contractors rather than employees. In these instances, they can’t be held liable.
However, this defense does not always work. It’s a complex issue, and trying to prove it on your own can be difficult. Working with a wrongful death attorney can ensure that your lost loved one gets the justice they deserve by reviewing the facts of the case.
What Compensation Can You Receive in a Wrongful Death Case?
When it comes to a wrongful death due to medical negligence, you may receive compensation in several ways for the loss of your loved one.
The medical expenses that were paid as part of the negligence can be reimbursed. This can also happen even if the health insurance companies paid them.
Lost Wages and Loss of Future Earnings
On top of grieving the loss of your loved one, you may be facing financial challenges in your household. Without your loved one contributing to the finances, you may no longer have a steady income. You can receive compensation to cover the loss of wages from when they were in the hospital as well as future earnings for your household.
Pain and Suffering
You can pursue compensation for your loved one’s own experiences before their death. It can also be awarded to loved ones suffering from the pain of this loss.
Wrongful death lawyers in Jacksonville from Fasig | Brooks offer a free initial consultation to discuss the particulars of your wrongful death case. As this is a difficult time for you, it is important to let an expert handle these matters while you take time to grieve.