When someone you care for has passed away as a result of the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare practitioner, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best way for you to seek justice in a civil court. Thought it can’t undo what has been done, a lawsuit can help families seek closure and recover from the heavy financial burden that often accompanies a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice. Doctor’s bills, hospital costs, wrong or repeated treatments or corrective surgeries, loss of financial support from the deceased, funeral costs, and loss of consortium are just a few of the damages that may be pursued. But to make a successful case in court, there are a few things that you should be aware of.
Here’s what you should do, and some things you shouldn’t, during your medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit.
Tips for a Successful Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Before you begin your lawsuit against a healthcare provider for a death caused by medical malpractice, be sure to do the following:
- Make sure you’re the right person to file a claim. Typically, wrongful death claims may only be made by immediate family members, such as a surviving spouse, parent, or child. Siblings or other non-related persons are not allowed to make wrongful death claims under Texas law.
- Consider your claim carefully. Not every unexpected death in a medical setting is due to malpractice. Sometimes, despite the best efforts of healthcare personnel, there’s simply nothing more that can be done. A wrongful death lawsuit is based on negligent, careless, or reckless behavior on behalf of medical personnel, involving a breach of duty of care.
- Be aware of the statute of limitations. The legal timeframe to file a wrongful death claim can vary, but a maximum of two years from the time that the victim passed away is typical in Texas. However, certain legal circumstances may change this, and there are other types of legal claims that may be possible to make with shorter timeframes. If you think you might have a wrongful death case, it’s important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
Wrongful Death Claim Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you’ve learned a few things that you should do, here are a few things that you should avoid before or during your wrongful death claim:
- Avoid talking to insurance companies. The insurance company of the party responsible for the loss of your loved one is there to protect its own interests, not yours. Never speak to the insurance company, attorney, or other representative of anyone else involved in the case without consulting with your own legal representation first. Anything that you say to them could be used to diminish the value of your claim. If they try to contact you, refer them to your attorney and say no more.
- Don’t take fast, lowball settlement offers. This is another reason not to talk to insurance companies without legal help. Insurers will often quickly put forth a settlement offer that is far below the actual value of your case. It’s usually best to talk with your attorney before you accept a settlement or sign anything.
Get Legal Help
The best legal advice that we can offer in the event of a tragic loss of life due to medical malpractice is to seek experienced legal help from a law firm that you can trust. An attorney who is familiar with the rights of families who have suffered due to a wrongful death will know the appropriate laws, be able to perform all of the investigative steps to uncover the truth, find expert witnesses to help make your case, file all of the paperwork for you, and best represent your interests in a court of law.
If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice, Wayne Wright LLP is here for you today. We stand up for the rights of victims and their families and can help you seek the compensation that you may be owed in a court of law. To speak to a legal professional about your wrongful death case, reach out to us by telephone, email us via our contact form, or click the live chat box on this page right now for a free, no-obligation consultation.