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Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Lawyers

When we trust a medical professional or hospital with the life of our loved one, we expect the best medical care possible. Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals or their facilities are negligent, and patients die. It happens more often than you might think.

Johns Hopkins University recently found that medical errors cause more than 250,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. Most states allow the grieving family to file a wrongful death claim for medical malpractice when that happens.

You aren’t alone if your relative died recently because of a medical professional’s or hospital’s negligence. Nix Patterson’s wrongful death medical malpractice lawyers may be able to assist in your situation. If your case can be proven, you could receive compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and more.

Common Hospital Errors That Can Be Considered Malpractice

To make a strong claim for wrongful death medical malpractice, you must prove the doctor’s or hospital’s treatment was incorrect or inadequate. In some cases, other doctors could testify about the mistakes the doctor made and what they would do differently. Some of the most common doctor and hospital errors that lead to wrongful death include:


An improper diagnosis or the absence of one is called a misdiagnosis. It could happen because your loved one was prescribed the wrong drug or an improper dose, or the doctor failed to treat an injury or illness. A common misdiagnosis that may lead to death involves various types of cancer initially mistreated as less severe conditions, such as when lung cancer is misdiagnosed as pneumonia.

Surgical Mistakes

Many kinds of surgical mistakes lead to wrongful death claims. Surgery is complex and can go dreadfully wrong for many reasons, such as too much anesthetic, unsterilized instruments, perforating the bowel and causing infection, and even operating on the wrong body part.

Objects Left in the Body

Medical professionals often count the items and tools used in surgery to ensure nothing is left in the body. However, these mistakes can happen, causing a potentially severe and sometimes fatal complication. Some surgical tools that may be left in the body are needles, scalpels, sponges, and surgical gloves.

Infections at the Hospital

Patients who get serious or fatal infections while having treatment at the hospital are common causes of medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits. Unfortunately, hospital-acquired infections are a common source of severe illness and death.

Wrong Medication

Wrong medications and dosages are common causes of medical malpractice injury and death. Some wrong medications that may lead to death involve insulin, opioids, allergic reactions to antibiotics, etc.

Childbirth Complications

Physician and hospital carelessness could put the mother or baby in serious danger of injury or death. Sometimes, the doctor may not identify a medical issue that causes an infant’s injury or death.

Can You Sue a Hospital?

In some cases, yes. The case may be considered wrongful death if an injury at the hospital causes a person’s death and the injury was because of neglect or recklessness. For example, you can sometimes file a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital in Texas and many states. A wrongful death in a medical context might occur in one of these circumstances:

  • A doctor failed to follow the standards of care established for the patient’s safety.
  • The hospital or medical facility had an obligation to take action or not take action and didn’t do so.
  • The doctor or hospital didn’t fulfill their duty of care.

If your wrongful death medical malpractice lawyer can prove the medical professional or facility failed in their duty of care, you could receive compensation for your serious losses. However, not every wrongful death is necessarily because of hospital negligence. All states have rules and protocols to ensure that medical professionals and hospitals act responsibly, but you could have a successful lawsuit if they don’t. Some potential evidence that could be tied to hospital negligence includes:

  • Not ensuring that all medical professionals at the hospital are licensed, trained, and trustworthy
  • Not dismissing healthcare workers despite them not doing their job safely
  • Improper protocol development and enforcement for drug administration, patient safety, and prevention of infections

Who Can File a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Every state has different rules for filing a wrongful death case for medical malpractice. For example, Texas and many other states have laws saying that a decedent’s surviving children, spouse, or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal representative can file the claim if those family members don’t file suit within three months of the death. Other states allow other family members to file wrongful death claims for medical malpractice, so ask your attorney about the rules for your area.

How to Prove a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Claim

If a doctor or hospital did not care for a patient properly and a death occurred, they could be liable in a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit. Medical malpractice laws vary in every state, but we can say that the following facts must be proven for a successful case:

  • There was a medical relationship. First, you must prove there was a doctor-patient or hospital-patient relationship to file suit. You cannot sue a particular doctor or hospital if they do not have an official medical relationship in your loved one’s medical record. If your loved one was officially admitted to a particular hospital, this is proof that a medical relationship existed.
  • The doctor or hospital was negligent. It isn’t malpractice if your loved one died of natural causes in the hospital; you must show that the doctor’s or hospital’s care was negligent and contributed to your relative’s death. This means proving that the care provided differed substantially from what another provider would have done in similar circumstances. You will likely need medical expert testimony to demonstrate how the standard of care was violated.
  • The negligence caused the injury. It can be difficult to prove that the provider’s care caused someone’s death because the patient was usually already ill. However, your attorney will rely on expert medical testimony to prove that the provider’s negligence caused the injury and subsequent death.
  • The death caused damages. You cannot sue for damages if you didn’t suffer measurable losses. If you lost your loved one in a hospital malpractice case, you must show quantifiable losses, such as loss of income, medical bills, and mental anguish.

Damages Recoverable for Wrongful Death Caused by Medical Malpractice

Certain family members may be eligible for compensation in a medical malpractice wrongful death claim. In many states, the parents, spouses, or children could claim some or all of these losses for a medical malpractice-related death:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The cost of care for your loved one before they died
  • Mental and emotional anguish for the family
  • Pain and suffering for the deceased
  • Loss of future earnings and inheritance
  • Loss of care and support for your loved one

Can You Sue the Hospital for a Physician’s Negligence?

It’s possible that a hospital could be sued successfully for a physician’s negligence that caused a patient’s death. To sue the medical facility in addition to the physician is possible, but it depends on the facts of the case. Your medical malpractice attorney could opt not to sue the hospital if the doctor carries sufficient medical malpractice insurance. Talk to your attorney about the case’s specifics to learn more.

Speak to a Nix Patterson Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your loved one died because of a medical professional’s or facility’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your financial and emotional losses. Nix Patterson’s wrongful death medical malpractice lawyers are here to fight for the most compensation for you, so please contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation, and remember: We don’t get paid unless we win your case.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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