The recent investigation into the unfortunate death of celebrity comedian, Joan Rivers, led to a number of medical malpractice allegations. Sources reported that Joan’s daughter, Melissa Rivers, is planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against her mother’s personal physician, pending the official investigation results that will reveal the actual cause of death.
Joan River’s death is said to have been caused by an unauthorized biopsy that was performed during a routine surgical procedure on her throat. The procedure was performed at Yorkville Endoscopy in New York. The outpatient clinic was under the spotlight from both law enforcement and the media, since Joan Rivers was a high-profile celebrity.
On the other hand, close to 100,000 deaths occur every year because of wrongful and negligent practice. More often than not, surgeons, doctors, and hospitals associated with medical malpractice claims are protected by high-powered and efficient legal teams, which often discourages people from filing malpractice lawsuits.
What is wrongful death?
Essentially, wrongful death is a petition made against a person or organization when death of the individual is largely caused due to malpractice, wrongdoing, carelessness, or negligence. When wrongful death can be proven, beneficiaries of the victim may be entitled to monetary compensation from the accused person or organization.
Medical malpractice cases are usually arduous, long, drawn-out court battles that can take a while to go to court or be settled. Nonetheless, it is important that doctors and hospitals are brought forward to take responsibility for their actions.
What does a wrongful death investigation involve?
Often times, wrongful death investigations might not begin as such. For instance, a private investigator when conducting a homicide, personal injury, accident, crime scene or product liability case might lead to the discovery of a case of wrongful death.
A thorough investigation into a wrongful death case might involve use of crime scene and forensics reports, accident reconstruction, and witness testimony to get to the bottom of the cause of death. Private investigators gather expert, physical, and medical evidence, review police reports, conduct DNA tests, and perform surveillance on concerned parties to uncover the truth.
Wrongful death claims
Some wrongful death claims can be made without the need to file a lawsuit to be fully compensated for personal loss. Wrongful death claims make a petition for recovery of wages lost from a work life abruptly cut short, or life lost due to carelessness. Typically, wrongful death claims result in massive monetary settlements, after sufficient proof regarding guilt of the accused party has been presented.
Claims associated with wrongful death must be filed within a certain period after the occurrence of death. With the need to file a complaint within a limited time frame, it is best to hire a private detective or investigator to collect evidence required to substantiate the allegations. For instance, in a medical malpractice situation where the patient suffered and passed away because of incorrect medical treatment, medical communities and lawyers of the organization involved might argue that an existing condition, not the wrong medicine or dose, caused the death. In addition, lawyers can argue that the death was just an accident and the doctor or hospital is not liable.