Few challenges in life are more complex to endure than losing a loved one. If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to a medical error, you may be processing this loss in various ways. When it comes to the injustice of what you have suffered, you may be eager to hold those accountable responsible for your loss. You may also struggle to find the motivation to even think about the legal side of your situation, or you may be gravitating somewhere between these two polar responses. However you’re feeling, know that you don’t have to navigate the legal side of your situation alone. The compassionate and knowledgeable legal team at Salango Law is here to help. Call 304-342-0512 or contact us online today.
Why Exploring Your Legal Options Now Is Important
You may be, very understandably, hesitant to explore your legal options while you’re newly navigating life without your loved one. Yet, you may want to connect with an attorney as soon as possible–whether you’re confident that a medical error caused your loved one’s death or you’re unsure whether a medical error was to blame.
It’s important to understand that you don’t necessarily need to act on any legal guidance you receive immediately. But, having information from an attorney can help you make a good decision for yourself and your family. A lack of knowledge could compromise your values down the road.
Issues Of Causation And Fault
The two primary issues driving the personal injury lawsuit process are causation and fault. Causation issues pose the question, “What happened that directly led to your loved one’s death?”. On the other hand, Fault questions ask, “Who can be held accountable for the circumstances that led to your loved one’s death?”.
In most personal injury scenarios, a court asks a personal injury victim to prove three critical legal elements:
- Did the defendant owe the victim a duty of care under the law?
- Did the defendant breach that duty by engaging in negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct?
- Did the victim’s injuries result directly from the defendant’s conduct?
Medical negligence cases – also known as medical malpractice cases – operate differently. It is not enough for you to prove that the defendant engaged in professionally negligent or reckless conduct. You must show that the provider in question failed to provide the standard of care that another reasonably competent provider would have shown the injury victim if that provider had been facing similar circumstances.
As a result, issues of causation and fault are deeply intertwined in medical negligence cases. Answering the question “What happened?” makes it possible to discern whether a provider’s substandard care renders them liable for the patient’s harm.
With that said, it isn’t always easy to identify whether a medical error or another form of medical negligence has occurred. Additionally, it isn’t always easy to know whether it is a provider, the facility at which they practice, or both parties that may be held accountable for a patient’s harm. Medical providers are not always aware of the mistakes they make, nor are they always forthright when mistakes are made and identified. Surviving loved ones can’t always know right away whether they have grounds upon which to file legal action.
If you are unsure of exactly what caused your loved one’s death and whether a medical provider can be held responsible for it, schedule a free consultation with our team so that we can begin assessing your family’s unique circumstances. It is also worth noting that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. If you suspect that your loved one died due to a medical error, you might be right.
If Your Loved One’s Loss Was Work-Related
Although it is rare when medical error cases and work-related fatalities overlap, it can happen. If your loved one’s death was work-related, you might be entitled to considerable compensation at this time from the state workers’ compensation program. Applying for workers’ compensation death benefits is far more time-sensitive than filing a personal injury lawsuit. As a result, you’ll want to connect with our firm immediately to discuss your options if it is possible that you’re entitled to workers’ comp death benefits due to the work-related nature of your loved one’s death.
If You’ve Already Been Offered A Settlement
If a medical provider or medical facility has internally acknowledged the risk of a lawsuit in your case, they may have extended a settlement offer your way. If this offer was made in good faith, it may be fairly valued and may have been extended partially out of a desire to avoid litigation and a visible public relations challenge. If so, it may be in your best interests to accept the terms of the offer.
If, however, the offer was made in the bad-faith hope that you’d simply be too consumed with grief to consult an attorney, the settlement may be worth far less than the amount you’re rightfully entitled. In this scenario, taking the settlement might not be in your best interests. Accepting a settlement offer usually means signing away your right to sue. If you accept a low-ball settlement offer, your hands may be tied if you ever decide that you want to file a lawsuit.
If you’ve been offered a settlement, connect with our firm immediately so we can review your case’s circumstances and the terms of the offer. Our goal will be to ensure that you can make an informed decision about the offer on the table.
Contact A Compassionate West Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney For Guidance
You do not have to manage the legal and financial challenges related to the loss of your loved one alone. Our knowledgeable, client-focused legal team can handle the “heavy lifting” of your case so that you can dedicate your energy to healing and to supporting other surviving loved ones.
Whether you’ve already been offered a settlement or you’re unsure of whether your loved one’s loss was caused by medical negligence, we’re here to help. Our firm is proud to offer free consultations to anyone interested in learning about their rights and legal options as a personal injury victim or surviving loved one. If you haven’t already done so, you can schedule a free consultation with the reputable personal injury attorneys at Salango Law by calling 304-342-0512 or contacting us online today. We look forward to speaking with you.