When your loved one went into surgery, you expected him to come out in 45 minutes. The surgery was meant to be an outpatient procedure, and you didn’t think that anything would go wrong.

Unfortunately, something did go wrong. You think the anesthesia was too strong or was used incorrectly, because your loved one never woke up. Now you’re facing financial strain because of needing to plan a funeral, and you’ve also lost a source of income. On top of that, you no longer have your loved one with you when you expected him to be here today.

Wrongful deaths are a tragedy no matter what you classify them as. For legal purposes, you may need to show whether the case is medical malpractice or should be treated as a wrongful death case. There are a few distinctions between the two case types. In some cases, you may be able to file both types of claims.

A wrongful death claim focuses on the death of a human. The case itself can be in a number of categories from car accidents to industrial accidents. These cases are sometimes heard after a criminal case. For instance, if there was a murder, a criminal case may come first before the family seeks a wrongful death claim in civil court.

On the other hand, if you have a situation where you have lost a loved one because of a medical mistake or hospital error, you may wish to consider a medical malpractice claim. Some cases that may be tried as medical malpractice include those involving surgical errors, medical errors during pregnancy or mistakes in administering anesthesia. An attorney who is experienced in personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases can provide you with the guidance you need to seek compensation.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death vs. Medical Malpractice,” accessed Sep. 20, 2017