What’s the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death?

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Personal injury cases can vary widely from situation to situation, but one thing is always constant in a personal injury case: the negligence of another entity. Whether that’s the negligence of a business to properly de-ice its sidewalks after a winter storm or the negligence of another driver on the road, proving negligence is often at the crux of winning a personal injury case. Two slightly more complicated types of personal injury cases involve instances of medical malpractice. While there are some similarities between these two sorts of case types, there are several key differences as well. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between a medical malpractice case and a wrongful death case.

What you should know about medical malpractice

In a medical malpractice case, death is not the only potential outcome of a medical practitioner’s negligence. While it’s true that a medical malpractice case may result in death, it could also result in illness or injury. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include botched surgery, problems administering anesthesia appropriately, a misdiagnosis, or improper administration of medication. As you can tell, these sorts of mistakes could have a wide-ranging number of negative effects, but just because malpractice didn’t cause a major problem doesn’t mean that it wasn’t malpractice.

If you’ve incurred medical costs as a result of medical malpractice, you may be able to get some of that money back by pressing charges for malpractice. This may also be a good time to look into your current health insurance coverage to see if you might be able to get a better rate in the future. It’s easy to find quotes for Medicare and other insurers online if you are interested in swapping plans.

What you should know about wrongful death


In a medical malpractice case, injury or illness could be the result of a doctor’s negligence, whereas a wrongful death case always involves someone who has died as a result of poor judgment or bad actions. One important thing to note about these types of cases is that, unlike medical malpractice, many states do not cap the amount of damages you can sue for. This means that you can make more money pressing charges if a medical malpractice case was fatal by pursuing a charge of wrongful death instead of malpractice.

It’s also worth noting that a medical malpractice charge can only be levied against a healthcare professional, whereas wrongful charges can also apply to a variety of other types of negligence, from poor driving to a workplace accident.

The major difference between the two

While a doctor’s negligence as the root cause of death could be considered medical malpractice or wrongful death, ultimately the biggest difference between the two types of cases boils down to how much money you are seeking in restitution. Depending on where you live, if you want to receive a certain amount of money in damages for pain and suffering, you’re going to need to avoid pursuing a simple medical malpractice case. This is because pursuing more than a medical malpractice suit can result in you being able to press charges for things like loss of companionship, as well as reasonable costs associated with the burial and funeral of your loved one.

As you can see, proving either case can become an increasingly complex legal justification to make. It’s for this reason that, if you think you may have a medical malpractice case, you should consult with an attorney before pressing charges. Local laws surrounding medical malpractice and wrongful death can vary from state to state, so it’s important to find New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys to talk to if you live in Albuquerque or Santa Fe. These sorts of experts will be up-to-date on the latest rulings and cases in your area, and can help guide you through pressing charges and ultimately winning your case. A medical malpractice case can be incredibly stressful, so it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney in your corner if you’re serious about receiving a settlement.

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