When a routine surgery or medical procedure takes an unexpected turn and results in death, surviving family members often are understandably distraught. In some cases, the negligent or reckless action or inaction of medical professionals involved directly leads to the death at issue, which may give grounds for a wrongful death claim. A Schenectady wrongful death lawyer could be vital to your ability to seek compensation for the death of your loved one.

Unfortunately, who can file a wrongful death claim and the compensation that they can collect from the responsible parties are limited under state law. Nonetheless, a wrongful death claim is a way for grieving family members to hold medical professionals accountable for their misconduct. With the help of a local medical malpractice lawyer, surviving family members may be able to both obtain compensation for their losses, but also prevent similar incidents of medical malpractice occurring to others in the future.

Defining Wrongful Death in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice by a healthcare professional is one of many types of incidents that can lead to a wrongful death claim. When doctors, nurses, hospitals, or other medical professionals act in a way that fails to live up to the reasonable standard of care for a patient, they may be liable for medical malpractice. Whether the incident involves a foreign object left in the body of a patient during surgery, failure to diagnose cancer, or prescribing the wrong medication, medical malpractice can cause significant injuries to patients.

When medical malpractice causes the death of the treated, the administrator of the estate of the decedent, as well as surviving family members, may have a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties. Should the decedent been entitled to compensation for a malpractice claim had they lived, then the surviving family members are likely to have grounds for a wrongful death claim.

In some cases, the personal representative of an estate may be a surviving family member, or it may be a different person altogether. Whatever the case may be, the personal representative can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of surviving immediate family members, including spouses, children, and in some cases, parents. By contacting a wrongful death lawyer in Schenectady following a death caused by medical malpractice, family members may be able to prevent similar incidents of malpractice by the responsible medical professionals in the future.

Compensation in Schenectady Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death cases consist of two different components under state law. First, personal representatives of the estate of the deceased can seek damages for the pain and suffering that the decedents suffered before their deaths. These claims are transferred from the decedents to their estates upon death, which gives the personal representatives the legal rights to pursue them.

Furthermore, specific immediate family members and others who were dependent on the victims of medical malpractice can seek damages for the economic losses that they have suffered. Although they cannot seek compensation for their pain and suffering, they can seek other damages for other financial losses, including:

  • Medical bills incurred during the fatal incident
  • Loss of income and future support for dependents
  • Loss of parental rearing and guidance for minor children
  • Loss of companionship for surviving spouses

A wrongful death attorney in Schenectady could help formulate a comprehensive claim for damages in a wrongful death case, as well as ensure that individuals bring their claims in a timely fashion. Under New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1, these individuals generally have only two years from the date of the death to pursue wrongful death claims. Although the law does establish some exceptions to this general rule, failing to meet the appropriate statute of limitations can result in the dismissal of any wrongful death claims.

Talk to a Schenectady Wrongful Death Attorney for Advice

The sudden death of a loved one following an incident of medical malpractice can be devastating. Having a Schenectady wrongful death lawyer on your side to pursue all available wrongful death claims could allow you and your family to focus your energies solely on your emotional recovery from your losses.

Together, you could both hold negligent medical professionals responsible for their misdeeds, as well as prevent future mishaps from occurring in the future. You also can gain valuable compensation that may be crucial to the financial stability of your family during this challenging time. Call now to get started.