Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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Surgical errors can prove fatal for elderly and children

Surgery is a word that makes even the most reckless person shudder. The idea of going to sleep and placing your fate in the hands of someone whom you met a handful of times is a terrifying thought. Luckily, doctors are an elite group of people with years of schooling, training and experience under their belt to ensure that mistakes are minimal.

However, surgeons are human and can commit serious errors. Unfortunately for surgeons, those errors are too often fatal. Elderly and very young patients can be especially vulnerable when surgical errors are committed. But when such a tragedy occurs, the family of the deceased may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible.

The problem with wrongful death actions is that the court is asked to value a person's life. How do you measure someone's life? Is it the sum of their earning potential? How do you value their relationships? These are the questions that judges and juries are asked to answer. The general answer is that the value of a person's life is their earning capacity, based on their age, health, current job and education, plus future childbearing, nurturing and companionship.

This formula is fantastic for an adult in a relationship and a baby on the way. However, it skews low for children and the elderly. A mature adult is capable to roughly project what their total earning capacity is, whereas a child is not. Children have not attained basic requirements to project earning potential. Instead, courts are left to do their best estimate on what a child may have contributed to a parent's income. This is also true for the elderly who are, arguably, passed their ability to earn a wage.

But if you believe you lost a loved one due to the negligence on behalf of a surgeon, you may wish to file a medical malpractice suit for wrongful death. Such a suit could help provide the answers you deserve regarding your loss and could help prevent such acts from happening to someone else in the future.

But as the information in this post demonstrates, such lawsuit can be complicated. As such, you may wish to seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney when attempting to reconcile the steps you will take in response to your loss.

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Office Location

Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

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