Medical negligence is a serious problem, causing hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths each year. Grieving family members left behind often wonder whether a medical error caused their loved one’s death and, if so, what they can do about it.
Fortunately, Florida law allows certain family members to sue for medical malpractice. If a loved one died from sepsis, you may have a valid legal claim.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a complication that arises when a person has an infection. In particular, the immune system releases certain chemicals to fight the infection, but these chemicals have a negative effect by causing inflammation.
Sepsis is potentially fatal because it can lead to tissue damage and organ failure. At its extreme, sepsis can also lead to dangerously low blood pressure. Another reason sepsis is so dangerous is that people who think they have beaten the illness often end up back in the hospital even weaker than before. Sepsis sends more than a million people to the hospital every year and a large percentage of these patients end up dying.
Do You Have a Valid Legal Claim for Negligence?
There are four elements to negligence:
- You must show that a doctor or other professional owed your loved one a duty to use care.
- You must show the doctor did not exercise the correct standard of care. In particular, doctors must use the skill and care that other doctors would under the same conditions. In sum, you need to show a mistake the doctor made, such as not detecting sepsis soon enough or discharging your loved one too soon.
- You need to show your loved one died.
- You must show that the doctor’s medical mistake was a cause of the death.
These four elements are required. However, usually the second one is in dispute the most often—whether the doctor acted with sufficient skill and care. To help prove your case, your medical malpractice attorney will probably work with an expert witness to review the decisions the doctor made and identify mistakes.
What are the First Steps You Should Take?
After a loved one’s death you are probably in a lot of shock. Nevertheless, you need to protect your right to compensation. You might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor or health care provider who is responsible for the sepsis death.
You should immediately write down everything you remember about your loved one’s treatment. What was the chain of events? What do you remember the doctor telling you and your loved one? Write everything down as best as you remember it.
Then immediately meet with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can review your case. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum LLP, we will request your loved one’s medical records and go over them with a magnifying glass, looking for errors. We can also interview medical personnel who provided treatment before death.
Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Today
Medical malpractice cases are complicated, and you need steady legal guidance during this difficult time. We are proud to have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients, and we look forward to meeting with you.