Even when someone is nearing the end of their life, their quality of life still matters, and that’s why hospice care exists. Hospice care doesn’t focus on curing illnesses. Instead, it is supposed to provide as much comfort as possible for terminally ill people.
Medical malpractice is a serious crime, but many people dismiss the possibility of a malpractice case when their loved one is already dying. No matter how short a person’s life expectancy is, as long as they’re living, they have the right to receive proper care. Continue reading to learn what you or your loved one should do if you feel you have a case for medical malpractice against a hospice worker.
What is malpractice?
The Oxford Dictionary defines malpractice as the “improper, illegal, or negligent activity or treatment” by someone providing a professional service such as law or medicine. When you go to a medical professional for their services, you’re trusting them with your life. If they abuse that trust, then you deserve fair compensation.
A hospice worker can be held accountable for medical malpractice just like any other healthcare professional. If they apply an incorrect medication or treatment that causes injury, illness, or death, then they’re responsible for their criminal negligence.
If you or a loved one has a case for medical malpractice, then you’ll have no problem finding a lawyer to take on your cause. To narrow the list of New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys down to the best one, do your due diligence. If your experience with the negligent hospice worker has taught you anything, it’s that you need to do your homework when looking for someone to provide professional services.
How long will a lawsuit take?
Filing a lawsuit isn’t an instant fix for any problem. Depending on the court’s capacity to serve and its backlog of cases, it could even take few years for a case to go to trial.
You may reach a sufficient settlement before the trial begins, but if you don’t, then you’re entering into another phase of the process that could take years. If your case strengthens once it goes to trial, then the defense attorneys may try to settle again for a larger sum. That being said, you need to prepare yourself for a legal battle that could take anywhere from months to years. Throughout the process, you should be sure to make the most professional, responsible impression upon the judge and jury as possible. Make sure you have proper attire for any meetings or courtroom appointments. A scoop neck sweater and pencil skirt, a blazer and blouse, or any other formal wear is appropriate for these settings.
Because the trial could potentially take years, you may need to consider getting a viatical settlement to cover your legal expenses. A viatical settlement is a cash payment for your life insurance policy.
Though it sounds morbid, the cash value of your settlement depends on your life expectancy, but a viatical settlement could be just what you need to manage financially while you await the results of your lawsuit. Even if your lawyers have agreed not to charge you for their services until they get you a settlement or win your trial, you’ll need money for your medical and living expenses while you await the verdict.
What if you pass away before the lawsuit is resolved?
The harsh reality about going through a legal battle while you have a terminal illness is that you may not be around to see your case through to the end. It’s important for you to appoint someone you trust to make sure your case continues even after your passing.
As part of your end of life preparations, it’s crucial that you appoint someone to be the executor of your will. That person will be responsible for carrying out your final wishes in regard to your physical and financial assets. Should you posthumously win your trial, the executor of your estate will also be responsible for paying your lawyers and dispersing the reward from your trial to your beneficiaries.