Medication Errors Can Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
Many of us might find it surprising that medical errors take place regularly in our hospitals, pharmacies and medical rooms throughout St Louis and the state of Missouri. In fact, thousands take place each day and have a significant impact on those individuals’ lives that are affected. Most of us put our lives in the hands of medical professionals and have great faith in their ability to diagnose, treat and solve our medical problems. Few of us would believe that when we enter a hospital or receive treatment from a medical professional, we may end up sicker as a result, or may even die.Prescription Errors and Incorrect Dosages Cause 7000 Fatalities a Year
Apart from the serious injuries which result from patients being given incorrect medication, there are 7000 fatalities each year throughout the U.S. from pharmaceutical prescription errors or incorrect dosages. A recent study conducted on medication errors revealed that millions of dollars are added onto hospital expenses as victims of such errors have to spend extra time recovering in hospital.
Research conducted over a period of time has identified that these medical mistakes errors are often due to:
- Overworked and fatigued pharmacists
- Illegible doctor’s handwriting
- Distracted nursing staff
- Lack of knowledge and understanding of adverse drug reactions.
A medication error can prove fatal and have a devastating effect on the family of the victim who did not expect their relative to die in the hands of the respected medical profession. If you have a family member who sought treatment for an ailment and died as a result of a prescription error or a medical mistake in Missouri, then you should contact a Missouri wrongful death attorney to discuss your case for a wrongful death damages claim.
Times Have Changed – We are Far More Alert to Medical Errors
In early days, if someone died in hospital we would just accept it as we really thought that our relatives were in good hands and that the death was of natural causes through no fault of anyone else. These days, though, when businesses who run our medical services are forever trying to cut costs, they are at the same time putting patients at risk. Inadequately trained nurses may be involved in medication errors, overworked pharmacists may have been set work levels that are likely to lead to fatigue when mistakes could be made. Unreasonably high levels of productivity from doctors may be expected, so that they hurriedly write out prescriptions that are often hard to read by the recipients. All these cost cutting factors are jeopardizing patient care and are leading to wrongful deaths that could have been avoided.
If you have had a family member who has died as a result of Missouri medical malpractice then you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney here in St Louis who can offer you a free consultation to discuss your case.
What is a Wrongful Death?
This is an event that has taken place and has led to a fatality that was not the victim’s fault. Throughout the state of Missouri, families of victims of a wrongful death are legally entitled to file a claim for damages from the person who caused the death. Many untimely deaths inflict hardships on family members who were financially unprepared.
Economic and Non-Economic Claims
The legal profession here in Missouri generally divides wrongful death claims into those which involve economic hardships, which include loss of income, medical expenses and funeral expenses that have burdened the family of the wrongful death victim and non-economic claims which is an amount calculated to cover the effect of the emotional suffering that has taken place. There is no limit to the amount that a family member may claim on the economic component, as this is a clearly definable calculation, but the non-economic amount is often hard to clearly value as it involves the family’s emotions. An experienced wrongful death lawyer knows how to resolve this issue and place value on this part of a wrongful death claim.
Is a Wrongful Death Claim Moral?
Some family members might think that filing a financial claim for the loss of a loved one is in poor taste and we should let sleeping dogs lie. If the death was sudden then no preparation may have been made for the financial future of the family left behind. This is the last thing a victim of a wrongful death would want. Would you want to leave your children without financial security, when your cause of death was not your fault? All these situations are factored in when a wrongful death lawyer makes an assessment of the wealth contribution that the victim made. This sort of claim gives full recognition to the victim of his or her valuable contribution to the family and it also makes the person who is responsible for the death more accountable.
A family who has lost a loved one in this way has nothing to lose from putting in a wrongful death damages claim, and it will ensure future patients better care. This will also alert them to address the issues that resulted in the claim taking place. Such cases as wrongful death claims go a long way to ensure that the same mistakes are not made again and more careful monitoring takes place of any similar incident to the one that caused the wrongful death.