California Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Attorney
A 1999 study found that medical mistakes accounted for up 98,000 fatalities a year. Then, in 2016 a controversial study from the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins found the number was over 250,000 annually. Whether you accept that figure or the more conservative number, there is no denying medical malpractice can and does cause fatal outcomes that could have been avoided. If this has happened to a beloved family member of yours, attorney Peter Bertling and his team at Bertling Law Group can help you recover compensation to deal with the loss you have suffered.
A wrongful death can throw a family into financial turmoil and emotional upheaval. There may be additional medical bills to pay along with funeral and burial expenses, and the family may have lost their primary wage earner or an important contributor to the household budget or management. Apart from the direct financial costs (expenses, loss of income, loss of insurance, benefits), the emotional loss is a far greater component for the spouse, children, parents and others left behind.
Finally, there are questions of justice and accountability that must be addressed and redressed. It is unacceptable for a hospital to lose a patient because they were understaffed or underequipped, because the workers wore overtired or inadequately trained, or due to a lack of communication or general negligence among the doctors, nurses, lab technicians and others responsible for the people in their care. At Bertling Law Group, we know our clients need to recover money damages to assist them and compensate them for their loss. But more than that, they need to know what happened. They need to know what went wrong, and they need to know that the parties responsible are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again to someone else.
Holding hospitals accountable and instituting change is a large part of our mission at Bertling Law Group. We know it’s important to you, and it’s important to us as well. If you lost a loved one to medical malpractice in a California hospital or at a military or VA hospital or clinic nationwide, call Bertling Law Group at 844-295-7558 for a no-cost, confidential consultation. We’ll help you figure out what went wrong and hold any responsible parties accountable for their preventable mistakes.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in California
Every state has its own laws regarding who can sue for wrongful death and what can be recovered. Families of military service members and vets can pursue claims through their service branch or the VA, but if the malpractice occurred at a civilian public or private hospital, then the case is more properly filed in state court. Here are important facts to know about California’s wrongful death laws.
When a person dies because of another person’s or entity’s negligence or wrongful act, the surviving family members may have a wrongful death cause of action, meaning they can sue for the wrongful death. The claim can be filed in court by the family members themselves or by the person appointed to serve as the personal representative of the estate. Family members who can file a lawsuit include, in the following order:
- Surviving spouse or domestic partner and children
- Other family members in the line of descent
- Other family members entitled to inherit from the deceased
If successful in a lawsuit, which requires proving the defendant caused the death by their negligence or failing to practice according to the required standard of care, then the estate can recover money damages for direct economic losses, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Final medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future earnings
Additionally, family members can recover for the harm they suffer due to the loss, such as:
- Loss of services
- Loss of support
- Loss of affection
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance
Of course, it can be difficult to quantify these losses and put a dollar value on them, but our experienced legal team knows how to calculate these damages and present a strong case to the doctor or hospital, their insurance company, or to a jury if necessary. We’ll let you know what to expect and work to get an adequate settlement or judgment that meets your needs and respects the value of the life that was lost.
Justice, Accountability, and Compensation for Wrongful Death in California
Medical malpractice doesn’t get reported on the death certificate by the hospital or funeral home director. The International Classification of Disease doesn’t have a code for medical mistakes. If a patient dies because of cardiac arrest, that gets listed on the death certificate, even if the reason behind the cardiac arrest was a surgical error, spending too much time under anesthesia, a post-operative infection, or a negligent medication overdose. Errors like these go unreported and even actively hidden under piles of paperwork or behind a confidential settlement, which means they can happen again because there’s no communication or training about how to prevent that mistake in the future.
Before he began representing injured patients and their families in medical malpractice lawsuits, attorney Peter Bertling spent 30 years defending doctors and hospitals from such claims. He knows how to investigate a suspicious death and get the records and evidence needed to discover the truth, and he knows the steps to take to hold hospitals accountable. If you suspect medical malpractice was behind the death of a beloved family member in a California hospital, call Bertling Law Group at 844-295-7558. Let us help you find justice for your loved one.