How do Fatal Medical Errors Happen?
Fatal medical errors shouldn't happen, but unfortunately, they do. Medical errors and malpractice are a leading cause of death in the United States. Some reasons for fatal medical errors include:
- Switching a patient between providers, resulting in miscommunication
- Understaffed medical facilities
- Overuse of caffeine, particularly for nurses and hospital staff; running on little to no sleep and forcing oneself to work through a day can easily lead to errors
- Patient misidentification that can lead to unnecessary surgeries or other treatments
- Dropping instruments into a patient during surgery and failing to remove them
- Long shifts-some hospitals require 24 hour shifts for their residents
- Failure to report an incident properly
- Short, insufficient visit time with patients, even in private facilities
- Medication errors made by providers or pharmacists
Medical errors kill hundreds of thousands of Americans per year. Many of these fatalities happen within, or as a result from treatment in a hospital, but doctors in clinics and private practice can also be responsible for fatalities.
Idaho's locality rule can make the chances of a medical error higher than they should be. That's because doctors are not held to a national standard of care, but rather one upheld by their more immediate geographical area. This puts the doctors at an unfair advantage when it comes to malpractice, and that's why you need a competent lawyer at your side when addressing issues of malpractice.
Does a fatal medical error constitute wrongful death?
A wrongful death claim in Idaho, according to the statute, happens when death is caused by the neglect or wrongful act of another. The remaining family and loved ones may be eligible to reclaim damages that caused the death. This could mean recovering from a doctor, clinic or hospital, depending on the circumstances.
The person's heirs can file a claim, as well as immediate family who were partially or wholly dependent on the person for services and support. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident, so it's important that you contact an attorney promptly. With a wrongful death case, you could recover damages for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Final medical expenses
Depending on the circumstances, there could be other possible avenues of compensation for losses resulting from your loved one's death. That's why it's so important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
We can help
We know how to handle the system. If you lost a loved one due to a medical error, our team can help your family move forward. Let us help you start the process with a free case evaluation. Don't wait, pursue justice now.