medical malpractice lawsuit

Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Claims

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is deeply challenging, and a painful roller coaster of emotions. When that loss is a result of someone else’s negligence, it can add a whole other layer of anger and frustration. While nothing can bring back your loved one, seeking compensation for the harm caused is one way to address the injustice.

Medical malpractice and wrongful death are legal terms often intertwined in cases where an individual’s negligence, or failure to take reasonable care, leads to the harm or death of another person. Medical malpractice is one type of wrongful death lawsuit you can file to pursue damages resulting from medical accidents.

Distinguishing between medical malpractice and wrongful death is crucial for understanding your legal options and pursuing appropriate compensation. Our team of wrongful death attorneys (Los Angeles) is dedicated to advocating on your behalf throughout the entire legal process.

Medical Malpractice Versus Wrongful Death

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional’s negligent or careless decision results in patient injury or death. Healthcare providers are required to uphold a high standard of care to protect their patients, and deviations from this standard, whether purposely or accidentally, can lead to serious legal consequences.

Injured patients or surviving family members have the right to file personal injury or wrongful death claims to seek compensation for the damages suffered as a result of a doctor or other medical professional’s wrongdoing.

For example, let’s say a nurse is overwhelmed by the number of patients she is in charge of, accidentally confusing two of her patients with similar names. The nurse administers the wrong medication to the patient with a bacterial infection, which leads to an allergic reaction resulting in hives and a significant drop in blood pressure.

After conducting emergency treatment to stabilize the patient, it was discovered that the nurse failed to double-check the medication and verify the patient’s identity, violating standard protocols. Due to the nurse’s negligence, the patient contacted a Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney to build a claim for the additional harm suffered.

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Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases seek to obtain compensation for the losses suffered by surviving family members due to the negligent or wrongful actions of another party. These lawsuits can arise from various incidents, from fatal car accidents and workplace mishaps to medical malpractice.

Imagine a patient going into surgery to remove a benign tumor from their brain. During the operation, the surgeon fails to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs and overlooks related complications. After the surgery, the patient suffers from a brain hemorrhage, eventually leading to his tragic and premature death.

Since the doctor acted negligently, failing to immediately address signs of complications during the operation, the patient’s family members decided to file a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon and hospital to seek justice and compensation. Reaching out to a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can ensure you collect the evidence you need to file a strong claim.

Statute of Limitations: Malpractice Versus Wrongful Death

In California, the statutes of limitations differ slightly for wrongful death and medical malpractice claims. For wrongful death claims, surviving loved ones generally have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a lawsuit. However, medical malpractice claims allow individuals to file three years from the date the injury was sustained or one year from the date the injury was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered.

It is important to note that there are variations and exceptions to these deadlines. For instance, minors typically have a longer timeframe to file a medical malpractice claim. Due to these complexities, we recommend consulting with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to ensure compliance with all applicable deadlines and requirements.

Contacting a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible will help ensure that your claim is filed on time and that you receive proper compensation.

Connect With a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Law Firm

los angeles wrongful death law firm

If you are suffering from an injury following a procedure or you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, contact a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer, personal injury attorney, or medical malpractice lawyer to obtain justice.

Medical malpractice lawyers from a top-tier Los Angeles wrongful death law firm will help you determine the best way to navigate the legal process for your specific circumstances. In cases of wrongful death, a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles will recover funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of companionship expenses for surviving loved ones.

John J. Perlstein, one of the best wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles, has over 25 years of experience securing fair outcomes in wrongful death cases. Get in touch with us at (213) 583-5786 or complete our form on our website to schedule a free consultation.



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