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3 major causes of wrongful death in hospitals

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Panoramic image of the modern operating room with the personnel working with the patient

In the eyes of most citizens, hospitals stand as a beacon representing the pinnacle of healthcare. When an emergency situation occurs, you might expect that you can rush to the hospital and everything will be alright because at least the staff will spare no effort to safeguard your health.

In actuality, medical malpractice and wrongful death exist as an ever-present threat in the healthcare space. You can take steps to protect your family and your future against medical negligence by understanding the possible causes of wrongful death in hospitals.

1. Misdiagnosis

Diagnostic errors come in multiple different forms. Sometimes doctors misdiagnose because they relied on inaccurate lab tests, imaging reports, or other types of tests. A misdiagnosis can also occur as a result of poor interpretation of symptoms, or neglecting to refer the patient to a specialist. Each of these situations leads to a patient not receiving the treatment they need.

2. Delayed treatment

Failure to administer treatment in a timely manner is perhaps the most blatant form of medical negligence. Hospitals attempt to accommodate as many patients as possible, but this can result in some individuals getting lost in the mix if the facility does not employ enough staff. Patients with time-sensitive conditions can eventually pass a point of no return if they do not receive prompt treatment.

3. Surgical errors

Wrong-site and wrong-patient errors are unfortunately common in hospital surgery rooms. These can result from poor communication, carelessness, or other negligent behavior at any point in the treatment process. Surgical errors sometimes entail leaving the existing condition untreated or damaging perfectly healthy organs, which can be fatal circumstances.

Some studies suggest that medical errors may contribute to as many as 250,000 deaths annually. These deaths are often wrongful and avoidable, and you have the right to take action against hospitals that allow such errors to occur.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Arizona?

A claim for wrongful death in Arizona can be filed in civil court by any of the following survivors of the deceased:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Parent or guardian
  • Personal representative of the deceased on behalf of the spouse, child, parent or guardian, or estate

A claim for wrongful death in Arizona can not be filed by:

  • Cousins
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Same-sex partners
  • Common law spouses

How soon after the death does a wrongful death case have to be filed?

In Arizona, a wrongful death case has to be filed within 2 years of the date of the deceased person’s death, or the date the deceased person’s death should have been discovered. There are exceptions to this if the lawsuit involves a public entity or arises out of a work injury. An experienced attorney in Arizona will help you determine when your lawsuit needs to be filed. Failure to comply with the deadlines could result in a loss of your claim.

 

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