The Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Published on March 6th, 2018

The Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Medical malpractice and wrongful death are two separate legal concepts. Though distinct, they can also be intertwined. Your Michigan medical malpractice lawyer or Michigan wrongful death lawyer will identify the type of legal case you may have, but it is important to understand the difference between these concepts, especially when you are dealing with a tragedy that has led to a major injury or preventable death.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Your child suffered an irreversible birth injury that led to cerebral palsy. You lost a loved one because they suffered a late-term cancer diagnosis that was incorrectly diagnosed earlier. Mislabeled medicine led to an overdose or other medical emergency. These are all situations where the term medical malpractice applies, and they are all examples of medical mistakes that led to preventable devastating outcomes.

When a healthcare provider is negligent, leaving a person harmed in any way, that is a case of medical malpractice. Carelessness, distraction, lack of knowledge or experience, and even intentional harm have led to patients suffering during medical care, leading to severe injury, lifetime impairment, permanent handicap, or death.

Nearly 100,000 patients die every year from doctor or hospital negligence, according to the Institute of Medicine. Patients trust their medical teams to provide them with the very best care and protect their well-being and the health of those they love. Most medical injuries that lead to death are preventable, and situations such as these qualify as a medical malpractice case and/or a wrongful death lawsuit.

Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Brain injury
  • Birth injury
  • Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Pediatric errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Delayed treatment
  • Emergency room errors

This is only a short list of the situations that can lead to medical malpractice. These acts can be caused by negligence on the part of any healthcare provider, from doctors to nurses, midwives to pharmacists.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Medical malpractice can cause a wrongful death, but wrongful death can have other causes besides medical malpractice. When someone dies as a direct result of negligence, a wrongful act, or the lack of action of someone else, that can be considered a wrongful death.

Wrongful death can result from many different circumstances, including death caused by:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Birth injury
  • Medical neglect or abuse
  • Auto accidents
  • Vehicle recalls
  • Assault
  • Defective products
  • Recalled food

Wrongful death can be intentional or unintentional. That determination is incredibly important when it comes to this type of personal injury case. Nevertheless, the loss of a loved one is irreversible, devastating, and, when it could have been prevented, a case of wrongful death.

A fraternity pledge dies from drinking too much alcohol. The fraternity’s members, national organization, and the college can be liable for wrongful death. A car’s airbag does not properly deploy and results in a fatality in an auto accident. The car manufacturer and others can be liable for wrongful death. These are just some examples of preventable wrongful death.

Seek Justice for Medical Malpractice or Wrongful Death

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, or your child has suffered because of medical malpractice, you can pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit and monetary compensation to cover medical costs, special education costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

If you have lost a loved one because of medical malpractice or wrongful death, you can seek justice and pursue damages to help pay for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and pain and suffering.

Contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys or wrongful death attorneys. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today to schedule your consultation.

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