How do I know if a medical mistake was responsible for my loved one’s death?
Your loved one was admitted into a Harris County, TX hospital for a surgical procedure or to receive treatment for an illness or emergency and they never made it out. Unfortunately, this is the reality many families are faced with but one they were never prepared to take on. So, what went wrong? Was it a medical complication that arose or did the surgeon, nurse, or physician make a mistake?
While it could have been either of the two that were responsible for your loved one’s untimely death, you won’t know for sure until a physician can provide you with some clarity as to what happened. But, how do you know if the information you are being provided is accurate? How can you decipher if the health care professionals who were caring for and treating your loved one aren’t just trying to cover up a mistake they made? The fact is, you won’t know what the true cause of your loved one’s death is as you can only go off the information you have been given.
However, if you feel as though something more went wrong and a doctor or surgeon is to blame for your family member’s death, then it’s time you contact a Houston, TX medical malpractice attorney at Blizzard Law, PLLC.
Requesting an Autopsy to Determine the Cause of Death
When a person passes away as a result of an accident, homicide, suicide, or their death is undetermined, the Medical Examiner is required to determine the cause and manner of death. An autopsy may be required to be performed after a person passes away in less than 24 hours after admission to a hospital. An autopsy “is an invasive examination of a deceased individual for the purpose of determining the cause and manner of death.” While a complete autopsy involves an “examination of the external body surface, an internal examination of the chest and abdominal cavities, and cranium,” a non-forensic autopsy consists of an exam that is limited to certain areas of interest.
In most cases, an autopsy is required to be performed, however, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science states that in about 25% of the cases it receives, “there is a high degree of medical certainty as to the cause of death.” For instance, if the person had a known infection or suffered from cancer or heart disease and there is no indication that the person’s death was caused by foul play, then an external examination may be the only type of exam that is performed.
If you are convinced that your loved one’s death wasn’t an accident and that it could have been prevented, then you may want to speak with one of our skilled Houston, TX medical malpractice lawyers about requesting an autopsy. In Texas, the legal next of kin is permitted to request that an autopsy be conducted. The legal next of kin could be a parent of a minor child, a surviving spouse, or the oldest adult child/ oldest adult sibling if both parents are deceased.
An autopsy can play a major role when medical malpractice is suspected as it can help determine what really served as a factor in a person’s death.
Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Houston, TX Now
Losing someone you love so unexpectedly is hard to accept, and we understand here at Blizzard Law, PLLC. But the reality is, “medical errors are a serious public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States,” cites the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Therefore, if you have any reason to believe that a physician’s negligence is what caused your loved one’s death, you may have a medical malpractice case on your hands.
Medical malpractice cases typically stem from medical negligence. A doctor who is considered to be negligent would be one who “failed to meet the reasonably expected standard of care of an average, qualified healthcare worker looking after a patient in question within similar circumstances.” An example could be a medical professional who failed to check a pathology report which led to a missed cancer or a surgeon who injured a nerve by mistaking it for an artery while performing a procedure.
Although certain family members are entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit when negligence can be proven, these cases are often more difficult to win so it is important that you are represented by a Houston, TX medical malpractice law firm that has experience with handling cases of this nature. At Blizzard Law, PLLC, we offer this and more. To discuss your concerns with one of our knowledgeable Houston medical malpractice attorneys, contact us now at 713-844-3750.
You can reach Blizzard Law, PLLC at:
5020 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006