Understanding the 4 Essential Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

by | Published on Apr 28, 2023 | Medical Record Review

A wrongful death claim arises when a person loses his /her life due to injuries received from another or due to the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another. A medical chart review is an important activity when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits. This will help attorneys understand the medical aspects of the case and whether another party is involved.

Managed Outsource Solutions provides accurate medical chart review for attorneys. Get in touch with us today!

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When a person survives his/her injuries, he/she has the right to file a personal injury claim. Similarly, in the case of a dead person, the surviving family has the right to bring a personal injury claim. Wrongful death actions are derived from the primary personal injury actions, and therefore the elements of a wrongful death action originate from the elements of a personal injury claim. To prove a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove the same elements they have to prove in a personal injury claim. In addition to these, they also have to establish that the victim’s death resulted from the defendant party’s negligence.

The 4 Key Elements in a Wrongful Death Case

Any wrongful death lawsuit needs to be carefully reviewed and processed. It is therefore vital to understand the four important elements of a wrongful death lawsuit.

  1. Duty: It is important to establish that there was a duty of care owed to the deceased or injured person by the defendant. The defendant had a responsibility for the safety of the victim. Take the example of drivers on the road. They have to follow the rules of the road, and must act in a safe and reasonable manner. Property owners, likewise, have a duty to make sure there are no unsafe conditions on their premises. Healthcare providers such as medical professionals have a duty to treat patients, following the accepted standards of care.
  2. Breach of care: Once the duty of care between the injured/dead victim and the defendant has been established, the next requirement is to show that the defendant breached their duty of care in some manner or was negligent. This breach of care will look different based on the particular situation. A surgeon who performs surgery on the wrong part of the body breaches the duty he or she owed their patient. A driver driving his/her vehicle under the influence of drugs breaches his or her duty of care to others on the road.
  3. Causation: This involves showing that the negligent action caused the injuries and the consequent death, if it occurred. If a person breaches his duty of care, it does not mean that the negligence was the reason for the death. Sometimes the causation may be obvious. In some other cases, you may need considerable legal and investigative resources to reveal the same.
  4. Damages: Quantifiable damages have to be shown to payers or the jury, if the wrongful death case is to be successful. These include medical expenses incurred, loss of income of the deceased person, funeral and burial expenses, loss of guidance, inheritance, and protection, and also the survivors’ pain and suffering and mental anguish.

The potential causes that led to the injury/death of the victim could be occupational hazards, product defects, vehicle accidents, and medical malpractice among others. Deaths due to nursing home negligence, and child deaths that are caused during a supervised event may also fall under the category of wrongful death.

Medical Record Review for Attorneys an Important Consideration

Personal injury attorneys handling the above mentioned type of cases can benefit from medical record retrieval solutions. A reliable provider can retrieve all the relevant medical records, and have them reviewed properly. The key medical evidence extracted helps prove causation effectively. With professional medical review services, attorneys can get all the medical records organized perfectly so that there is no confusion regarding the sequence of medical events and other medical elements. Any complexity or challenge involved in reviewing the medical records can thus be successfully addressed.

Let Managed Outsource Solutions (MOS) handle all your medical record retrieval needs!

Contact us today at 1-800-670-2809.

Discover our medical record review solutions and partner with us for your next case.

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