Understanding the Differences Between Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, negligent actions and accidents occur daily in different forms. Victims are often left with critical injuries and have to undergo a long medical recovery process. However, in worst-case scenarios, some lose their lives. In this instance, families of the deceased should seek legal guidance and support from an experienced wrongful death attorney in Nevada. Filing a claim and seeking justice is the right way to cope with the trauma of losing a beloved due to someone else’s carelessness.

When filing a lawsuit, families often get confused between wrongful death and medical malpractice. It’s because wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuits go hand-in-hand. Not only do they fall under the same criteria, but they also fall under the umbrella of personal injury. Therefore, seeking an experienced attorney’s help is best to navigate the legal complexities confidently.

However, to help you develop clarity on this, here are the differences between medical malpractice and wrongful death:

Basic Difference Between Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice

Wrongful death in Nevada is described as a civil cause of action. It occurs when someone is killed for someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In this case, the family members of the deceased or the victim’s estate executor can file a wrongful death claim for money and punitive damages.

On the other hand, medical malpractice is accidental oversight or deliberate neglect of a medical professional, resulting in the patient’s injury or death. Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • An ER medical professional fails to note the patient’s significant wound
  • An anesthesiologist over-prescribed medication
  • A doctor misdiagnosed the ailment

Though both may seem different, they are interconnected because medical malpractice becomes a wrongful death case if it leads to a victim’s death. However, the way you choose to pursue the claim matters the most. It is because the laws in Nevada differ for medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. Take a look:

Statute of Limitation

In a wrongful death claim, families have a two-year statute of limitations to sue the suspect for the death of the loved one. However, in medical malpractice, an action for the patient’s death or injury against the provider’s health can’t be filed after 3 years.

Damages Claim

For example, according to the revised statutes, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members of the deceased can seek damages based on different factors, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc. There is no defined limit for the compensation.

However, in a medical malpractice claim, the cap for non-economic damages is $350,000. No matter how many defendants may be involved, you can’t claim more than this amount.

The bottom line is that the medical malpractice case becomes a wrongful death claim soon after the victim’s death. Contact our experienced wrongful death lawyer to navigate your options and get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today.

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