Medical facilities, including hospices, are obligated by law to provide a reasonable standard of care to patients. Since those in the care of hospice personnel are terminally ill or receiving palliative treatment, they are often incapable of maintaining their own personal hygiene, administering medication, performing physical therapy, and completing common daily tasks. This makes hospice patients extremely susceptible to neglect.
Medical malpractice, abuse, and neglect by hospice workers can easily lead to severe injury, illness, or wrongful death. This can be devastating for families if they suspect their loved ones weren’t adequately cared for.
In the state of Louisiana, if a hospice contributed to the premature passing of a family member through medical error or negligence, you can sue them for wrongful death. However, wrongful death can be hard to prove, particularly when it comes to terminally ill patients.
Additionally, healthcare facilities, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are often slow to admit responsibility for their errors. This is why it is essential to seek representation from experienced Baton Rouge medical malpractice lawyers to help you file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana.
In Louisiana, wrongful death is regarded as a situation where someone dies as a result of negligence, medical malpractice, or an intentional act. The at-fault party may be a person or an entity such as a hospice, hospital, or medical facility.
To make a claim against a hospice for wrongful death, the decedent’s family must take legal action, seeking compensation on behalf of their deceased relative.
In Louisiana, the only people allowed to pursue a wrongful death claim are:
- The surviving spouse and/or children of the deceased person
- The surviving parents or parent of the deceased person if they have no spouse or children
- The surviving siblings of the deceased, if there are no parents, children, or a spouse
- The surviving grandparents of the deceased, if there are no parents, children, siblings, or a spouse
Immediate family members by adoption or marriage may also file a wrongful death claim. If the parent or parents of the deceased abandoned them during their childhood, they have legally relinquished their parental rights and are not entitled to file a claim.
In any wrongful death case, the plaintiffs are entitled to economic and non-economic compensation. In Louisiana, economic damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income, earnings, and benefits
- Funeral and burial costs
- The value of any services that the deceased person would have provided (such as chores around the home or childcare)
Non-economic factors cover losses that don’t necessarily have monetary value, such as:
- Grief and anguish
- Emotional support
- Loss of care, companionship, and guidance
Louisiana enacts a cap that limits the total amount of compensation in a medical malpractice case to $500,000. However, this cap does not apply to wrongful death cases where healthcare providers are at fault, such as when hospice workers neglect a patient and cause their premature death.
How to Know if You Have a Valid Wrongful Death Case
Because wrongful death cases against hospices focus on seriously ill patients, it can be difficult to determine whether the healthcare provider is at fault after the death of a loved one. What’s more, it can be even more challenging to prove responsibility. That’s why we suggest hiring a medical malpractice or wrongful death lawyer if you suspect your loved one’s death was a result of negligence and not their illness.
Some of the most common lawsuits for wrongful death by hospices include:
- Nursing home negligence
- Surgical errors
- Prescription drug overdoses
- Mismanagement of medication
- Delayed diagnosis
- Anesthesia errors
- Poorly trained staff
- Staff shortages
If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to a lack of reasonable care from their hospice, you can sue for wrongful death. As a complex area of law, it’s important to retain the help of seasoned medical malpractice lawyers to ensure you have the best chance at a successful outcome.
At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we can work on your behalf to negotiate a settlement that gets you the compensation you deserve for your loss. If necessary, we are prepared to represent you if the case goes to trial. Our experienced team knows this is an emotional time for you, so we handle all proceedings with compassion and professionalism.
We offer our clients a No Fee Guarantee, so you pay us nothing unless we successfully earn you compensation. Contact Dudley DeBosier today to arrange your confidential, free consultation so we can discuss your legal options.
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