Atlanta Fatal Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Fatal Errors When Malpractice Leads to Death
Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice Resulting in Wrongful Death
Wrongful death stemming from medical malpractice is a serious problem. The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine estimates that 225,000 Americans die each year due to medical negligence, and another 1.5 million are injured. Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, occurs when a health care professional fails to exercise proper care, causing harm to the patient. If the lack of care is severe enough, it may result in the patient's death. Georgia, and most U.S. states, allow a patient's family or the executor of the patient's estate to bring a wrongful death suit if the patient dies due to medical malpractice.
Surgical errors cause a large number of Georgia medical malpractice-related deaths every year. Surgical teams are trained not to make errors like leaving surgical tools or sponges inside a patient, but sometimes, that training is not enough to prevent surgeons and nurses from making a fatal mistake. Internal damage caused by a lack of care during surgery can result in internal bleeding or organ damage that can cost the patient his or her life.
Physicians aren't the only health care professionals who may be guilty of medical negligence. Hospitals have a duty to maintain a sterile environment to keep the risk of infection as low as possible. Unfortunately, the widespread use of antibiotics and anti-bacterial cleaners means that hospitals may harbor "superbugs," disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to treatment. If hospitals do not protect patients from catching one or more of these pathogens, the patient may contract a serious illness and possibly die.
Nursing malpractice can also have potentially deadly consequences. In both hospitals and physicians' offices, nurses are responsible for administering medications, assembling sterile tools and equipment for procedures, taking patients’ vital signs, and assessing their overall condition. If a nurse administers the wrong medication, fails to notice a symptom, or does not adequately communicate with the rest of the health care team, the patient can suffer serious consequences.
Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) estimates that 90 percent of medical malpractice cases filed every year are for wrongful death. Nearly half of those wrongful death cases are the result of a physician failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing an illness or injury. For instance, if a doctor fails to detect and start treating cancer in a patient, and when cancer is discovered it’s too late to treat, that physician can be sued for wrongful death. Likewise, if a doctor diagnoses and treats a patient for back pain or a virus when they’re actually suffering a heart attack, that is considered malpractice.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
When Georgia medical malpractice causes the death of a loved one, the family needlessly suffers a devastating and untimely loss. Surviving family members also have unanswered questions, such as "What would have happened if the doctor had made the right diagnosis sooner? What if the surgery team had been paying attention? What if the nurse had stopped to double-check the name or dose of the medication before giving it? Would our loved one still be alive today?" In cases of malpractice, had proper care been rendered, death would not have occurred.
A wrongful death suit is one way the family of the deceased can cope with their loss and feel a sense of justice, as well as secure their future. With the help of an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice wrongful death attorney, the loved ones of the deceased may receive compensation for the following damages:
- Full value of life damages – This includes lost economic damages (some of which are set forth below) and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages represent the intangible aspects of the decedent’s life and include lost enjoyment of life. This would include missed experiences such as a mother watching her children become adults or get married. Enjoyment of life damage is always individual-specific.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Medical bills.
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before they died.
- Loss of future income.
- Loss of future benefits, such as medical benefits and retirement benefits
- Loss of household services the deceased performed, such as childcare, property maintenance, bookkeeping, etc.
- Punitive damages.
To find out more about your legal rights and options in filing a wrongful death claim, contact the legal team at Atlanta’s Grant Law Office at (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955 for a free consultation.
Medical Malpractice Death Recent Verdicts and Settlements
- $1.25 Million - Failure to Respond to Medical Emergency in Intensive Care Unit
- Confidential Settlement - Sixteen year-old child was treated by a psychiatrist with prescriptions resulting in respiratory arrest and death.
- $1.8 Million - Failure to timely treat sepsis.
- $2.5 Million - In-Hospital pain medication overdose and failure to monitor result in patient death.
Click here for more verdicts and settlements.