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IL injury attorneyWhile some surgeries are riskier than others, there are risks associated with every surgical procedure. Even a routine, minimally-invasive surgery may result in a patient’s serious injury or death. In some cases, a patient’s operating room death is unavoidable. He or she may have had an adverse reaction to anesthesia or suffered from an unknown medical problem that leads to a fatal complication during surgery. However, some deaths are directly linked to the negligent or misinformed actions of the surgeon or surgical staff. If your loved one passed away during surgery, you may question the true cause of your loved one’s death.

How Do I Know If the Death Was Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice claims are personal injury claims that are brought against negligent medical professionals or medical facilities. The standard that is typically used to determine if a medical professional’s conduct was negligent is the “medical standard of care.” The medical standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonable medical professional with similar qualifications would have performed under similar circumstances. Examples of surgical errors that may cause or contribute to a patient’s wrongful death include:

  • Administering an inappropriate amount of anesthesia medication
  • Cutting or severing an artery or vein
  • Performing a surgical procedure that was unnecessary
  • Using surgical techniques or procedures that are unreasonably risky
  • Using incorrect surgical methods

How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Benefit Surviving Loved Ones

If your loved one has passed away and you suspect that a surgical mistake contributed to his or her death, you may wonder how a lawsuit will benefit you and your family. Money cannot bring back your loved one, but it can provide important financial relief and hold the negligent party responsible for the mistake. Though a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and your own losses resulting from the untimely death. You may receive compensation for the loss of your loved one’s income and employment benefits as well as the loss of his or her companionship, guidance, or affection.

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Waukegan wrongful death lawyerDoctors and other healthcare staff have both an ethical and legal obligation to provide competent care to patients. Doctors cannot always prevent the deaths of their patients. However, there are some situations in which a medical error or negligent act results in an avoidable patient death. If a patient’s death is caused by medical malpractice, a surviving family member may choose to bring a wrongful death claim against the doctor or the medical facility. A wrongful death claim may help the family recover compensation for their loss while holding the responsible party accountable for the tragic loss.

Defining Medical Negligence

A wrongful death occurs when the wrongful, reckless, or negligent action or inaction of a party results in the death of an individual. The terms medical malpractice and medical negligence are sometimes used synonymously, however, medical negligence is only one component of a medical malpractice claim. Four elements must be present to establish that medical negligence has occurred:

  • Duty: If a patient had established a confidential doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional, the professional has a duty to provide capable medical care.

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Waukegan wrongful death lawyersIllinois is known for its icy, windy, and often snow-covered winters. When spring finally arrives, many people are eager to get back to the warm-weather activities they love. For motorcycle enthusiasts, little compares to the excitement of the first ride of the season. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can be a risky mode of transportation. Because the vehicle offers virtually no protection to the rider in the event of an accident, many motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or death. Just under 5,000 riders lost their lives in fatal motorcycle accidents in 2018 alone. If your loved one passed away in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent party, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

When is a Motorcyclist’s Death Considered a “Wrongful Death?”

There are two criteria in Illinois law regarding wrongful deaths. A death is considered wrongful when:

  • The death was caused by “wrongful act, neglect or default” and
  • If the deceased person would have survived his or her injuries, he or she would have been entitled to bring an action to recover damages

Wrongful deaths are often caused by the negligent actions of another party. A motorcycle accident may be caused by negligent motorist who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting and driving, driving in a dangerous or reckless manner, or violating traffic laws. It is also possible that fault for the accident lies with a company such as the company that manufactured the motorcycle or constituent motorcycle parts. Because so many different factors can contribute to the severity of a traffic accident, determining fault for a fatal motorcycle accident can be a highly complex process. Therefore, legal guidance from a wrongful death attorney experienced in motorcycle accident cases is essential.  

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Lake County wrongful death lawyersThe death of a close family member is heartbreaking regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death. However, when a loved one is killed due to the negligent, careless, or intentional acts of another party, the loss can be even more tragic. Not only do surviving loved ones have to deal with their personal loss, they must also manage the financial loss caused by the death. Fortunately, surviving family members of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for their losses through a wrongful death claim.

When is a Person’s Death Considered a Wrongful Death?

Not every unexpected death is considered a wrongful death. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act states that a wrongful death is a death caused by “wrongful act, neglect, or default.” If the deceased person, should he or she have survived his or her injuries, would have been able to pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit, then the representative of the deceased person is permitted to pursue damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. There are almost countless situations that may lead to a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful deaths may be caused by:

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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysLosing a loved one is difficult no matter the circumstances. However, if the loved one’s death was preventable, the loss is especially heartbreaking and infuriating. Sadly, it is estimated that medical errors result in the deaths of over 250,000 people per year in the United States. This makes medical mistakes the third-leading cause of death. 

If you have lost a loved one and you suspect medical negligence played a role in his or her death, you may wonder when a doctor or medical facility is liable for a patient’s death. If your loved one’s death was the result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.

Proving That a Wrongful Death Was Caused by Medical Malpractice

Sometimes, a patient passes away and there is nothing that doctors and other medical workers could have done to prevent the death. However, this is not always the case. Failure to diagnose a medical condition or misdiagnosis, medication and anesthesia mistakes, surgical errors, or other forms of substandard medical treatment may result in the injury or death of a patient. 

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