If you have lost a loved one due to medical negligence, your family may file a wrongful death suit stemming from medical malpractice against the medical professionals who treated you and hospital where you were treated to recover damages. In order for your lawsuit to be successful, you will need to establish that the medical professionals responsible for your loved one’s care acted negligently by failing to adhere to the standard of care accepted by the medical community and that their death was caused by this negligence.
Many families who lost loved ones due to medical malpractice find themselves wondering exactly what went wrong during the diagnosis and treatment stages. An autopsy may provide the answers they are looking for. The state of Pennsylvania only requires autopsies in specific situations, but a family can request one if they feel it will be beneficial.
Families who suspect medical malpractice can contact the coroner who can determine whether an investigation is warranted. The family generally has the right to decide who will conduct the autopsy. Some teaching hospitals will perform an autopsy without charging the family. Teaching hospitals are also generally much more willing to perform autopsies because they can help the medical care patients will receive in the future. Private hospitals may be more concerned with payment, and will often hire an academic medical institution to have medical experts perform the autopsy.
The unexpected loss of a loved one can be emotionally devastating, and many families may be uncomfortable with the idea of requesting an autopsy. However, the loss of a loved one can be financially devastating as well as emotionally difficult, and legal action can be the best way to help a family cope with the financial aftermath of a terrible loss. An autopsy combined with medical expert testimony can be the key to recovering damages in a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney can help prepare your case and ensure that you have the evidence you need to give you the best chance at success.