Home Articles Medical Malpractice vs. Wrongful Death: Is There a Difference?

Medical Malpractice vs. Wrongful Death: Is There a Difference?


Many people go to the hospital to have surgery or to the doctor to get a diagnosis only to have something go wrong. In some of the cases, the issue is medical malpractice while, in other instances, it may actually be wrongful death. Whichever the case may be, the person who suffered the wrong or his or her family member now has a probable cause for a personal injury lawsuit.

Information about Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice or Wrongful Death

If a situation arises where someone’s loved one has surgery and something goes wrong or if the loved one dies, the surviving family member has the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit. The laws vary from state to state on what the claimant can do, and if the matter has taken place in Florida, there are lawyers who can advise the claimant on how to move forward. In Northwest Florida, there are Pensacola Personal Injury Attorneys on hand to provide possible clients with all the information they need. Here is a look at if there is a difference between a personal injury lawsuit called medical malpractice or one called wrongful death.

Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Medical malpractice can be a form of wrongful death, but not all wrongful death incidents are a result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare provider is negligent in his or her duties and the patient is harmed as a result.

Some examples of medical malpractice include but are not limited to nursing home patient abuse or neglect, surgical errors, birth defects caused by the healthcare provider, the patient is given the wrong medicine and the misdiagnosis of an ailment. Medical malpractice can occur at any point in a patient’s treatment of a condition, from the initial diagnosis to the follow-up care after a procedure.

More about Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

In a lawsuit involving wrongful death, the claim is brought against any person or entity that has caused the death of another by negligence or wrongful act. Wrongful death incidents could be a medical malpractice event but also brought on by automobile accidents and dangerous or recalled vehicles.

They could also come from harmful foods or products that have been recalled and assaulted, whether the death was accidental or not. Just about any unfortunate incident that ends up in a fatality could be classified as qualifying for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Final Thoughts about Medical Malpractice or Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The statute of limitations in Florida for wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of the incident and fatality. If the personal representative of the deceased fails to file the lawsuit in a Florida civil court at this time, any opportunity to have the lawsuit heard may be greatly hindered or denied.

The chance to be awarded damages in the matter will also be gone. It is important for the representatives of the deceased to be prompt in handling a wrongful death or medical malpractice lawsuit to avoid the unpleasant possibility of getting nothing for the unfortunate death of a loved one.


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