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Wrongful Death vs. Medical Malpractice – What is the Difference?

Doctors in operating room with green tint

A Wrongful Death case means that someone caused or contributed to someone’s death.  It can be a car crash, a plane crash or any other event that caused or contributed to the death of another.

A medical malpractice case can arise when any care giver, be it a doctor, a nurse or other medical provider did something below the standard of care in connection with the diagnosis, treatment or care of someone which results in his or her injury or death.

Any injury or death case involves someone doing something wrong which results in injury or death to someone else.

For example, let’s examine an airplane crash.  The “doing something wrong” could be caused by any of the following:

  • Negligent Pilot – Negligent Maintenance – Contaminated Fuel
  • Faulty Aircraft Design or Manufacturing – Defective Aircraft Parts
  • or Defective Components such as autopilots or engine instruments
  • or negligent Air Traffic Control, to name just a few of the causes

Another very important consideration for you to consider is, when does your time limit to make a claim expire?  In California the rule of thumb for most injuries is two years.  BUT, it can and does vary depending on the type of injury and who caused the injury.  So, play it safe.  If you’ve been injured or harmed, consult with an attorney sooner rather than later so your case isn’t dismissed because you filed too late!