Even as a Baltimore family continues to mourn the passing of their 2-year-old daughter and twin sister due to cancer, they have taken legal action against Johns Hopkins Hospital for medical malpractice. A recent article appearing in the Baltimore Sun covered the story, which began with the joyous birth of twin daughters in August 2016. Unfortunately, upon discharge, the parents were not notified that an abdominal ultrasound had revealed a cyst on one infant’s adrenal gland. Two years later, without treatment, the toddler was diagnosed with terminal cancer that had spread to her spine, skull, and other parts of her body. She died in June 2019 after delays in treatment failed to treat the disease.
There is nothing more horrifying to a parent than to see their child suffer, let alone pass away because of the negligence of health care providers. A lawsuit will not bring the victim back, but the family may gain some closure through a Maryland wrongful death case. An overview may help you understand how these claims work.
Wrongful Death Cases Based Upon Medical Malpractice
When a person dies because of medical errors by health care providers, the situation encompasses two personal injury concepts. There is some overlap in terms of what you need to prove to recover compensation, but some basics are helpful.
A wrongful death action is a claim that surviving family members can bring against a person or entity that caused the passing of their loved one. Claimants must have legal standing to sue; typically, a surviving spouse, parents, and/or children will seek their remedies. They must also prove that the victim’s death was the result of negligence or other misconduct.
Medical malpractice is one form of negligence that supports a wrongful death claim, which means you must prove the essential elements for liability – in addition to what you must establish to raise a wrongful death case. To prove medical malpractice, you must have evidence showing:
- The relevant standard of care, i.e., how a hypothetical physician in the same practice area would have provided treatment under the same circumstances;
- The specific ways that your physician deviated from the relevant standard of care; and,
- How this deviation from the standard of care led to patient harm or death.
Compensation for Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases based upon medical malpractice encompass familiar personal injury concepts related to damages. Compensation aims to cover the losses victims suffer because of the at-fault party’s wrongdoing. Wrongful death cases are unique, however, because monetary damages are based upon the suffering of surviving family members. These individuals can seek amounts for such losses as
Speak to a Baltimore County, MD Wrongful Death Attorney About Legal Options
If you lost a loved one through negligence or other misconduct, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to learn more about your legal remedies through a wrongful death action. We can set up a free consultation to assess your situation and discuss potential strategies.