Losing a loved one, especially in medical malpractice, can be the most devastating situation you will ever experience. The situation means losing someone you didn’t expect to, in an unnatural way, caused by someone’s mistake. However, not all deaths that occur in surgical operations are due to negligence. It would help to do a proper investigation to know the cause of death and what went wrong. From the statistics, only a small percentage of individuals who go through sensitive surgical operations don’t make it, bringing a concern to the doctors’ skills and experiences. What to do after losing a loved one in such situations? Please read on.
What causes death during surgical operation?
Death during surgical operations can be due to many factors, and not only the doctor’s negligence. Some of these include:
Before having your loved ones operated on, you have to check their health history and those they don’t have conditions that might risk their lives on a surgical operation. Such conditions include breathing problems, weight, age, family history, high blood pressure, blood clotting, drug and alcohol usage, among other factors. It will help if you inform your doctor of all these conditions before deciding on the action.
Surgery and the surgeon
The type of surgery dramatically affects whether your loved one will come out alive or not. According to the Clinton Courier, operations like the brain and heart surgery are at higher risk than other body parts. In other cases, surgeries resulting from car accidents are also at risk when they are severely injured.
If your loved one’s system doesn’t go well with anesthesia, such could lead to complications during a surgical operation. It would help to know their previous experiences and advise their doctor accordingly. Most people who die immediately after surgery get affected by the anesthesia operation, and if not well stated to the doctors, such will weaken your compensation case.
Before opting for surgery, it would help check on the risky factors to see if the surgery will go well before giving the nod to the process. This analysis will prevent losing your loved one during the process, and if it happens, you will have a stronger case since you informed the doctor of all the details concerning the patient.
Steps to take after painfully losing a loved one during surgery
If the worst occurs, losing your loved one during surgery will initiate a process that will help get the evidence and what conspired during the operation. Here are the details of the process.
Know the cause of death
Not all surgical operations cause death. Sometimes, patients get overwhelmed in the process due to underlying conditions and never make it up. It would help gather evidence and check the processes to see what caused your loved one’s death. Is it an inefficient process? Was it a doctor error and negligence, or was it delays and other inconveniences? Knowing these medical details will help you come up with the best conclusion of the cause of death, which will guide you in filing for compensation from the hospital. How do you get all this information? You can check from the patients’ records, conditions they were in during operation, and other medical factors.
Get a competent lawyer
It is not easy to get all the above details and file for a compensation case without a competent lawyer. The lawyer will help you get the right evidence from the hospital; gather the witnesses and other information that you might not access on your own. It’s essential to hire a medical malpractice attorney who has experience in such cases. They will consider all parties, name the defendants, including the hospital, surgeons, and other parties involved, and file for a wrongful death claim. After finding all the evidence, the lawyers will then go ahead and file for compensation.
Determine the charges
Your attorney will be able to determine the charges in this case. A wrongful death caused by medical malpractice calls for economic and other non-economic damages, both to the deceased and the family. Financial damages may include the medical bills and funeral costs of the deceased, lost wages and support to the family, and future financial support to the left family. When it comes to non-economic, such includes the deceased’s pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, and loss of guidance to the family.
Support the litigation efforts of your attorney
When suing for the wrongful death claim, your attorney will do the heavy burden of collecting the evidence, getting witnesses, and filing for compensation. However, you should not wait and see the outcome. Your participation in the whole process is paramount. It would help keep the deceased’s records, including the medical bills, lost hours, expenses to and from the hospital until their last breath, and other costs for better representation by your lawyer. It is also necessary to follow all the attorney’s instructions, including staying away from the limelight and not interacting with the hospital or insurance company unless it’s through the attorney.
Who can file for wrongful death?
Not everyone can file for a wrongful death claim. Different laws and regulations only state a few individuals can do so, and it’s time-bound. The few people allowed to file for this malpractice include:
- The immediate family, including the spouse, all children, and the deceased parents
- Distant family members. These would include grandparents, siblings, and other closer relatives if they depended on the deceased.
- Life or domestic partners who earned through the deceased
- Any other person who benefited financially from the deceased
Losing a loved one will be ever devastating to everyone, regardless of how the situation was. After losing a loved one, moving on is essential since it determines how fast you will cope with life after losing your person. One way you can do so is getting justice and compensation for the wrongful death. A competent lawyer can help you with this and ensure you are compensated fully according to the law. The lawyer will help gather the evidence, file for your case, and follow it until fully compensated for the loss and damages.