When an injured party dies prior to settling a medical malpractice claim that legal action can be continued as a wrongful death claim by immediate family members or representatives. This process is called a medical malpractice survival action, and it essentially changes the beneficiary of the lawsuit from the injured party to the deceased's surviving relatives and dependents.
Georgia's survival action statute for the continuation of medical malpractice claims as wrongful death states that only certain family members are eligible for this action. In the wrongful death of an adult, the surviving spouse is the first to be eligible to continue their malpractice claim in a survival action as a wrongful death claim. If no spouse is present, the decedent's child or children are next in line to represent the claim.
The survival action for a child's wrongful death claim can become complicated if the parents are divorced or separated. This situation is one where a wrongful death lawyer is extremely helpful to ensure everyone is fairly represented.
Survival actions for medical malpractice claims have many additional rules and requirements in order to carry them over to a wrongful death claim. Additional evidence of negligence may be required, and once the claim is settled, the settlement must be properly disbursed to the respective dependents and representatives.
In cases of medical malpractice that result in the death of the patient where a family member cannot bring about a survival action, a representative of the injured party's estate may continue the wrongful death claim. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. can help your family determine the next course of action when your loved one's medical malpractice claim turns into a survival action and wrongful death claim. Call our office today at 404-474-0804 to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation.