When Louisiana residents lose a loved one because of medical negligence, they may wonder if their situation is considered medical malpractice or wrongful death. These legal terms can have a few factors in common but there are a few key differences between them, and it is important for people to understand these differences before they take any kind of action. 

FindLaw says that most instances of medical malpractice include some kind of negligence. This might mean that a doctor failed to provide the proper treatment or provided treatment that harmed the patient. Negligence also includes situations when a doctor diagnosed a patient with the wrong condition or did not take the necessary steps to manage a patient’s condition. Administering the wrong medication or an inaccurate dosage is also considered medical malpractice. Medical malpractice does not always mean that a patient has died. Instead, a patient may experience complications or find that his or her condition has worsened because of the care which was administered.

According to FindLaw, wrongful death means that someone has died because of the negligence or intentional acts of another person. Additionally, the death of this loved one typically causes the surviving family members a financial loss. People might wrongfully die in situations such as work accidents and motor vehicle crashes. Sometimes medical malpractice may be a factor or a cause of a wrongful death if a medical professional did not provide the proper care or made several errors that resulted in the patient’s death.

It is important for people to remember that if a patient dies while receiving medical care, this situation may not always be wrongful death. A patient’s death in a medical setting may only be considered a wrongful death if a doctor’s actions or negligence caused the patient to die.