Typically, dealing with a medical malpractice case can be a troubling experience. The whole idea of getting injured as a result of a medical practitioner’s negligence act can be already stressful to think about. But it can become more stressful if it results in a terminal illness.
When you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you probably don’t know what to do in the first place and how to deal with it. Luckily, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice on the ground of suffering a terminal illness as a result thereof.
If you’re new to this subject matter, keep reading this article to learn how medical malpractice and terminal illness work.
Terminal Illness Medical Negligence: An Overview
As you may know, a misdiagnosis that results in a late-stage terminal illness refers to a type of medical malpractice case which gives the patients and their families an opportunity to file a claim and hold the responsible parties accountable for the negligent behavior and the significant impact it has on the quality of life of the patient.
Generally, in a terminal illness medical negligence claim, the patient may seek compensation for a variety of damages sustained as a result of the at-fault party’s negligent behavior. These damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of years of life
- Palliative or end of life care
- Suffering caused by a loved one’s death
- Loss of consortium or ability to enjoy a normal relationship with the partner
- Funeral expenses, in case the patient dies
With the list of damages mentioned above, there’s no doubt that sustaining terminal illness as a result of medical malpractice should allow patients compensation for all the losses suffered. However, the actual amount of compensation to receive may depend on your personal circumstances.
Special Treatment Requirement For Filing A Claim
Filing a terminal illness medical malpractice claim isn’t the same as traditional claims. Due to the complexity of the case, the parties involved, the manner of collecting evidence, and the conventional claims may take a long time. However, when the medical negligence is based on a terminal illness diagnosis, you may only have a short time to pursue a legal claim and, therefore, requires special treatment. This could be one of the reasons why terminally ill patients have rights to speedy trials as emphasized by this article, which comes from reliable legal professionals.
Moreover, since a terminal illness decreases your life expectancy as a patient, it’s important for these claims to be filed in the fastest time possible. Given the likelihood that your prognosis may change, terminally ill patients like you may no longer wait for a long time. The claim should be handled with special treatment by filing it as soon as possible. That way, you may be able to get the most out of all potential damages you may recover from the insurance company and the at-fault party.
Reducing The Claim’s Settlement Timeframe
Being terminally ill can be a frustrating ordeal because you don’t know how much time is left before you pass away. This is one reason why medical negligence claims involving terminal illness should be settled in the fastest time possible.
As such, there are ways that can help you reduce the amount of time required before a claim is settled, including the following:
- Writing to the concerned medical practitioner about your potential and see if they accept liability straight away. This avoids a formal legal process.
- If the medical practitioner denies liability and the claim goes to court, ask the court to hold an urgent hearing to obtain the medical records and other relevant documents more quickly.
Effect Of Death During The Pendency Of The Claim
If you’re terminally ill as a result of medical negligence, there’s a high chance you pass away during the pendency of your claim. Unfortunately, this situation is something you’ll deal with when making this type of claim.
Thus, if you die before the claim is settled, the primary effect is that the value of your claim will be affected. In short, you may no longer recover compensation for all the damages you’ve listed before your passing. Thus, if you’re dead, you may not be able to get compensated for the lost income.
Indeed, being diagnosed with a terminal illness due to a medical malpractice case can be so disheartening. Aside from dealing with the complications of the illness, you can no longer enjoy long years of life unlike before. This makes filing a terminal illness medical negligence claim an important decision to make.
By keeping the information mentioned above in mind, you’ll know exactly what to do to get the justice you deserve in your lifetime, especially if you have an experienced lawyer on your side.