James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C.
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Holding doctors accountable after tragic patient deaths

While it is always sad when a patient in the Charleston, West Virginia, area winds up dying despite being under a doctor's care, it is especially difficult when a family learns that the patient's death could have been prevented had the doctor been more careful or, to put it another way, followed the appropriate standard of medical care.

Although last week's post discussed how a doctor's misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can lead to a patient's untimely death, there are in fact many ways in which a doctor, when he or she is not careful, can hasten or even cause a patient's death.

This is particularly true in the operating room, where a surgeon or an anesthesiologist's errors can cause serious injuries and, rather than making a medical problem better, wind up making a patient's overall condition worse to the point where the patient simply cannot recover.

In the event of an unfortunate and preventable death due to medical malpractice, a family is going to go through a lot of loss both in terms of their emotions and their pocketbooks.

For instance, the family will have to come up with money to pay for their loved one's funeral, possibly on short notice, and will also likely have some legitimate medical bills to cover, including those additional expenses the family incurs trying to fix medical mistakes.

If the patient who died was a breadwinner, then the family will also be out that person's wages and will need an alternative source of income. Finally, the fact that the family has to grieve the loss of a loved one and adjust to life without him or her has value and also deserves to be compensated.

Our law office feels that the doctor or other professional whose mistake contributed to the patient's death in the first place should be the one to cover the families' costs and expenses. Families can rely on our experience and advice in their efforts to get the compensation they need and deserve.

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Charleston, WV 25301

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