One of the age-old legal questions that most people still don’t know the answer to is whether a doctor is liable for murder if a patient dies because of his own negligence? To lose a loved one because of the fault of a doctor is not easy. The feeling that the doctor could save the patient but didn’t is terrible. What can you do if this happens to a family member or friend?
Here are a few things that you should know about medical malpractice:
Get Yourself a Good Lawyer
The first thing that you have to do is get a lawyer. Get a local lawyer from your area as he or she is more familiar with the local laws and regulations regarding medical malpractice and wrongful death. For example, if you’re living in the Miami, FL area, and you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you should retain a Miami wrongful death attorney. Your attorney will be the one to handle everything so that you can focus on yourself, and recovering.
Take Into Consideration Intent
Before you consider a case of murder, there has to be an element of intent on the part of the perpetrator. Without an element of intent, it is not possible to consider it a murder case, as a general rule. Obviously, a doctor usually does not have any intent to kill the patient (unless proven otherwise). This is the reason why most cases of medical negligence are not equal to a murder.
Try to Settle the Case in a Civil Matter
Because there is no criminal intent, the doctor usually settles the case with the victim in a civil manner. Disciplinary action is usually done against the doctor which may result in a revoke of their license. The institution may also fire the doctor from his or her job. The most that you can charge against the doctor are some penalties and fines.
Know That Doctors can Still Be Liable Criminally
Although the case can’t exactly make the doctor liable criminally, it is still possible to charge the doctor with a criminal homicide case. The basis for the case is reckless behavior or disregard for the safety of other people which results in injury or death. However, there is a certain degree to how bad a doctor did. It is up to your lawyer to determine how bad the doctor’s actions were to be criminal.
While it is hard to equate medical malpractice or negligence to a murder, there are other options that you can choose in order to get justice for the patient. All it takes is knowing how the law works and the rights of each patient. If the loved one of a victim thinks that the victim died because of the doctor’s negligence, action must be taken right away. In this instance, a lawyer has to already come into the picture. Your lawyer is the best person to talk to since he or she knows the law inside out. Do whatever you can to get the justice your loved one deserves.