Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be even more devastating when their death could have been prevented. If you suspect that a hospital or healthcare provider was responsible for your loved one’s wrongful death, you may be wondering if you can take legal action.
While it is possible to sue a hospital for wrongful death, it can be a complicated process, making it important to hire an experienced attorney to help you with your case. Fortunately, a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer from Zanes Law can take the steps required to hold the hospital liable for your loved one’s death.
In the meantime, let’s discuss the factors that make you eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital.
When Is a Hospital Liable for the Death of a Patient?
When you file a wrongful death claim against a hospital, you’ll have to prove that the hospital should be held liable for the patient’s death. A hospital may be held liable for wrongful death under the following circumstances:
- Employee negligence: The hospital may be held liable for the negligence of the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals that it employs
- Hospital negligence: The hospital may also be held liable for failing to properly vet and supervise employees or neglecting to maintain equipment and provide the resources that employees need to keep patients safe.
Acts of Hospital and Employee Negligence That Warrant a Lawsuit
When a patient checks into a hospital, they expect to receive a certain standard of care. Unfortunately, hospitals and medical providers sometimes fail to provide the care and resources patients require, leading to a tragic death.
An attorney can help you understand what qualifies as a wrongful death claim and file a lawsuit against a hospital if it or one of its employees committed one of the following negligent acts:
- Failure to follow standard medical procedures
- Failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
- Surgical error
- Inadequate staffing levels leading to hospital patient neglect
- Failure to adequately inform the patient of potential risks and complications
- Failure to properly train hospital staff
- Discharging a patient too soon
- Failing to adequately assess a patient’s medical condition
- Failing to properly care for a patient with a known medical condition
A Hospital Can Not Be Held Liable for a Contractor’s Negligence
In most cases, you won’t be able to take legal action against a hospital for the actions of an independent contractor. That means you’ll have to file a claim against the contracted doctor, nurse, or medical care provider who caused the patient’s death instead of suing the hospital.
Determining the negligent healthcare provider’s employment status can be difficult, so it’s important to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney. They’ll be able to advise you on your best course of action and take the steps necessary to hold the guilty party liable.
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Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Suit Against a Hospital
To prove liability in a wrongful death suit against a hospital, you must establish the following elements:
- The healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient
- The healthcare provider breached that duty of care
- The breach of duty ultimately led to the patient’s death
- The patient’s death caused you to experience emotional trauma, loss of consortium, financial loss, or other negative outcomes
An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability. They’ll gather medical records, witness statements, and testimony from medical professionals to support your wrongful death claim.
Who Can Sue a Hospital for Wrongful Death?
In Arizona, only certain parties can file a wrongful death suit against a hospital on behalf of a loved one. According to A.R.S. §12-612, only parties with the following relationships to the deceased patient may sue the hospital:
- Parent or guardian
- Personal representative of the decedent
If you are one of the parties mentioned above, reach out to an experienced attorney soon. Hiring a lawyer ASAP will give them the time they need to comply with the state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits.
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How Long You Have to File a Wrongful Death Suit Against a Hospital
If you need to file a suit against a hospital, you’ll have to abide by Arizona’s statute of limitations. According to the statute, which can be found in A.R.S. § 12-542, you and your family have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to submit a lawsuit.
If you miss this important deadline, your suit could get thrown out, leaving you without the compensation you need to recover lost finances and cope with the trauma you’re experiencing.
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Compensation You Could Obtain From a Lawsuit
If your wrongful death action against the hospital is successful, you could receive a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Your Phoenix wrongful death lawyer will fight for the following damages:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses
- Loss of financial support and inheritance
- Mental anguish
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These damages can help you and your family deal with monetary losses and persevere through this dark and difficult time. However, you’ll need a seasoned attorney to obtain all the compensation you’re entitled to. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer today to learn more about the damages you could receive from a lawsuit.
Meet With an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
When you’re pursuing justice and compensation for the death of a loved one after a fatal accident, you’ll want to work with only the most experienced and skilled attorney. To get the knowledgeable and effective counsel you need to file a successful suit, hire a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer from Zanes Law.
Our team can assess your circumstances and determine if you can sue the hospital for wrongful death. If you have grounds for a claim, they’ll work tirelessly to get the settlement you’re owed. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get started on your case.