Losing a loved one is a tragic and devastating experience for anyone. It is even more painful when the loss is a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Can you sue a hospital for wrongful death if it’s responsible for the loss of your loved one?
If you believe your loved one’s death was caused by the hospital’s improper treatment or care, you might wonder if you can sue the hospital for wrongful death.
Here’s what you need to know about whether you can sue a hospital for wrongful death.
When Can You Sue a Hospital for Wrongful Death?
In general, you can sue a hospital for wrongful death if your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice or negligence. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the accepted medical standards of care when treating a patient. Negligence occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide adequate care or attention to a patient, which results in their death.
To sue a hospital for wrongful death, you will need to prove three things:
- The hospital owed a duty of care to your loved one
- The hospital breached that duty of care
- The breach caused your loved one’s death
What damages can you receive?
If you can prove that the hospital was negligent or committed medical malpractice, you can receive damages to cover loss of income, medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. Additionally, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the hospital for gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Who Can Sue a Hospital for Wrongful Death?
People eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit include spouses, children, parents, and other close relatives. However, some states allow for other individuals, such as siblings or grandparents, to sue for wrongful death. If you are unsure whether you have the legal standing to sue, you should consult an experienced attorney.
What is the statute of limitations for suing a hospital for wrongful death?
The statute of limitations varies by state.
In Maryland, you have three years to file your lawsuit. Some states have shorter or longer timeframes for filing, so it is essential to speak with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
Speak to an Attorney
The sudden loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. The prospect of suing the hospital can seem daunting.
However, if you believe the hospital’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you must seek legal help from an attorney.
You should work with someone who specializes in these types of lawsuits. They can evaluate your situation and determine if you have a case against the hospital. Remember that time is of the essence. The sooner you act, the better your chances of receiving the justice and compensation you deserve.