You have surgery to feel better-- so what happens when something goes terribly wrong? Whether a surgical death happens in the operating room or months (even years) later, it can be an incredibly frustrating and confusing time for the family and loved ones of the deceased. Medicine is complicated (there's a reason there's so much schooling and training) and so too are the cases related to deadly surgical mistakes. If you know or suspect that a medical mistake lead to the death of your loved one, working with an experienced surgical death attorney can help you recover financially for your loss.
So back to the main question posed in this blog-- who is responsible for a surgical or medical death?In some instances, it is the mistake of an individual medical provider. In other instances, surgical and medical death cases it is not a single person that can or is responsible but a chain of people. Here's what I mean:
- Doctors: For all their schooling and training, doctors still make mistakes and these mistakes can be deadly. Whether it is something more obvious like leaving a foreign object in a patient or something that takes a tremendous amount of investigation to make the necessary connection, doctors can and are held responsible for the wrongful death of their patients every day in California. Like any wrongful death case, a showing that their departure from the requisite standard of care fully or partially caused the death of another is required to successfully hold a doctor responsible.
- Hospitals: Hospitals and outpatient surgery centers are often at least partially responsible for the death of a patient. A common example of this is when a patient gets an infection during their hospital stay as a result of a negligent condition at the hospital.
- Nurse and other support staff: Nurses and other support staff are also often responsible for the wrongful death of a patient in their care. Improper care, lack of attention and administering the wrong medicine are common examples of how this can happen.
One important thing to note is that most doctors work at a hospital but not for a hospital (and the same is often true for nurses too) which is why there are often multiple parties listed in these cases. In California, all of the parties listed above are required to carry a certain amount of insurance to cover things like wrongful death-- while these funds will never bring your loved on back, they are there for you. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one as a result of some type of medical error, please do not hesitate to give us a call ASAP. Time is of the essence in these cases-- do not miss the opportunity to file a case. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and discuss your case.