Wrongful death actions are available to surviving family members who have wrongfully lost a loved one. Surviving family members may wonder in what types of situations a wrongful death action may be available to recover damages. In general, in circumstances of a fatal accident when the death of a loved one was wrongfully caused by another party’s negligence, a wrongful death claim to recover damages to compensate surviving family members may be available. This can include in circumstances of medical negligence or medical malpractice.

It has been reported that medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. During 2012, $3 billion was paid out for medical malpractice claims. Generally, a medical malpractice claim may be available if the negligence of a medical provider caused harm, including death, in which case surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim based on medical negligence.

As part of bringing a wrongful death claim for medical negligence, there may sometimes be unexpected complexities that the family may not anticipate and may need help with. This can include the involvement of insurance companies, because insurance settlements are common, and important timelines associated with preserving a claim for damages and compensation for the harm the family has suffered.

Both wrongful death and medical malpractice claims exist to assist victims with the damages they may suffer because of the carelessness of another party. Because damages can vary based on the unique circumstances of each situation, it is important that victims understand the legal options and resources available to them which may allow them to recover medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of support and services and pain and suffering damages in addition to other types of damages that may be available when a family has suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one.