Thousands of people go into hospitals and surgery centers every year to get routine procedures done like tonsillectomies, gall bladder removals, appendectomies, colonoscopies, or repairing broken bones. Although these surgeries frequently occur without incident, according to a report by the USA Today Network and Kaiser Health News, there have been 260 surgery center deaths since 2013.
The report discovered that some of the patients were not appropriate for the surgical center setting (they were too sick, or the surgery was too complicated) or that the surgery center was just completely unprepared for the patients.
The number of surgical centers has risen over the past 10-15 years, and more than two-thirds of operations performed in the U.S. are now done in these outpatient centers, according to an article in The Washington Post. However, hospitals are typically more regulated than surgery centers because they are required to report more on errors and infections that have (or could) endanger patients.
Do you have a loved one who has died at a surgery center due to staff negligence? You may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death laws are different in every state, but usually, the state will award financial support to the family if it’s found that another party was negligent and caused the victim’s death.
Find out what it takes to prove a wrongful death claim, and how damages get determined.
Wrongful Death in Georgia
In Georgia, a plaintiff must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the incident that caused the family member’s death. A wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia can be filed on several grounds, including medical malpractice. If it’s discovered that your loved one has died as a result of direct negligence of medical staff at a surgery center, then you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the surgery center.
If negligence or recklessness is determined after an investigation, then the surviving family can get compensated for the value of the person’s life. The amount could vary depending on the value of the economic loss (i.e. lost potential wages) and can also include funereal, medical, and other expenses related to the injury and death of the person.
So, who can file a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one dies at a surgery center? Typically, a surviving spouse would file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no surviving spouse (or if the deceased person was divorced), then the children of the deceased can file. If there are no children or surviving spouses, the parents or the next of kin can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
When you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit for a surgery center death in Georgia, you want legal representation who is sensitive to your needs and who understands your rights. Call the Fry Law Firm today at (404) 948-3571 for more information.