What is Wrongful death?
Wrongful death is a specific kind of medical malpractice where a patient passed away due to the healthcare provider’s negligence. In wrongful death cases, the decedents or family members are able to file the case. However, it can be tricky to determine who has the right to file the case. As a result, if your family member, children, or parents have experienced wrongful death in Irvine, CA due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, you are entitled for compensation.
What are some common causes of wrongful death in Irvine, CA?
- Improper diagnosis: It is the responsibility of the doctor and staff to be able to properly diagnose patients of their injuries and illness. However, failure or improper diagnosis can lead to mistreatment. Additionally, taking medication or treatment in the wrong areas can unnecessarily damage healthy bodily functions. For some conditions, the wrong diagnosis may lead to the condition to get worse and reach the point where treatment is ineffective.
- Inappropriate treatment: While medical treatment should be effective at treating a medical condition, if the medical staff and doctor cannot appropriately address the medical condition, it can lead to the condition to get worse.
- Failure to listen to the patient: no matter the doctor’s expertise, the patient is their priority. As a result, they need to consider and listen to what the patient shares such as their symptoms rather than brushing it off as irrelevant. By carefully listening to patients and their concerns, it allows the medical staff to properly recognize symptoms and conclude the cause for the condition.
- Failure to examine medical history: it is the responsibility of the medical staff to have the record or consider the medical history of patients. For instance, some conditions may arise due to previous medical history or injuries. Failing to take medical history into account can lead to improper diagnosis and treatment.
- Unreasonable delay: While there may be a lot of patients, there should be a reasonable response time to diagnose and treat medical conditions based on their severity. If there is an unreasonable delay in diagnosis or treatment, it can lead to irreversible damage that can be harder to treat. For instance, diagnosis and treatment of cancer should be addressed as soon as possible to increase the chance of recovery.
- Prescribing the wrong drugs: prescribing or using the wrong drugs and treatment can damage healthy bodily functions as well as causing irreversible damage. As a result, it is the doctor’s responsibility to determine what drugs and treatment is right for the patient as not all patients and their conditions are the same.
- Surgical errors: Some patients will have to undergo surgery for treatment. However, surgery can be risky, especially when it involves fragile body parts. As a result, there can be surgical error that can lead to unintended injuries
- Failure to provide adequate postoperative care: While the surgery or operation can be successful, improper postoperative care can be detrimental for the patient. Improper care can create new injuries that need to be treated which is additional stress and pain that could have been avoided.
What damages are covered under wrongful death in Irvine, CA?
- Emotional and psychological distress: There can be emotional and psychological pain/suffering due to loss of a family member. Compensation can include these damages for the pain and suffering that was experienced from the wrongful death.
- Loss of wages or earnings: wrongful death of family members can prevent the family from affording necessities. If the wrongful death resulted in the loss of a family’s source of income or wage, these damages can be covered.
- Loss of benefits: if the family member were to expect benefits or gifts but are no longer able to due to wrongful death, these can be compensated
- Funeral and burials: While unfortunate, funerals and burial are a necessary part of wrongful death. As a result, these costs can be covered as the family member passed away from wrongful death
- Emotional loss: there are also non-economic damages that can impact family members such as the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support. While there is clear economic value, these are important parts of family that were missing. Additionally, losing a spouse or partner may mean loss of intimacy and comfort. Finally, losing parents could entail loss of the decedent’s guidance that could be crucial for their development.
For non-economic damages, there is a new cap of $500,000 for wrongful death starting 2023. For every year after 2024, it will increase by $50,000 until the cap reaches $1 million by 2034.
Who can sue for wrongful death in Irvine, CA?
- Spouse or partner of descendent
- The decedent’s children or grandchildren in certain cases
However, there may be cases in which it is hard to determine who is the line of descent or there may not be anyone in the line of descent. In these cases, the right to sue can be given to those entitled to property of descendent by intestate succession. This includes, but is not limited to
- Parents or legal guardians of the deceased persons
- Their siblings or stepsiblings
- Children or stepchildren
- Those who were financially dependent on the deceased persons
What are some important dates and timeline for wrongful death if I live in Irvine, CA?
Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, the statute of limitations is two years from the injury. Additionally, there is a time limit of six months after the death of the victim.
California also has “one action rule” for wrongful death claims. This means that there can only be one lawsuit against the responsible party of the wrongful death. As a result, if there are multiple heirs, it is important to include all possible heirs as claimants. Heirs that do not wish to be included should be put under defendants.
What should I do if I have suffered from Wrongful death in Irvine, CA?
- If you are in need of medical assistance, seek immediate medical attention. If you are able to collect any evidence of wrongful death, take as many photos/videos and physical evidence as detailed above.
- Be sure to report the incident to the hospital so that they can file an incident report. You can also request medical details that may have contributed to wrongful death.
- We highly recommend that you contact Alipour Law Group for expert legal assistance at https://asl.law/ before signing documents or making any statements. Our lawyers are ready to assist you with wrongful death cases in Irvine.
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