Medication is a vital part of our country’s healthcare system. It can lessen the symptoms of medical conditions, relieve pain, and even fully heal some ailments. Yet, as helpful as medication can be, a wrong medication or dosage can be deadly. These medication errors are all too common and completely preventable. One recent incidence highlights the tragic realities of these medical missteps.

A wrongful death lawsuit has recently been filed against a nursing home by the family of a resident who died in the home’s care. According to the family, two doctors prescribed a wrong dosage and combination of medication that led to the patient’s death. The family claims the nursing home was negligent when it prescribed the incorrect and excessive dosages and further failed to properly monitor the deceased’s condition.

Incidences like this are tragic and can leave families reeling. Victims’ families not only have to face the emotional turmoil of losing a loved one, but they can be left with medical expenses for care stemming from the medication error. These financial strains can add to the emotional affliction, making the grieving process even harder.

Those who survive a medication error and families who lost a loved one as a result of such errors can file a lawsuit against these negligent medical professionals. To succeed on their claim, a victim or surviving family member need only show the doctor owed the patient a duty of care, the duty was breached, and compensable harm resulted from that breach.

Once successful, surviving individuals and families of lost loved ones can obtain compensation. These awards can then be applied to medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and in the case of death, funeral costs.

While money cannot bring a loved one back or make an injured individual truly whole again, it can go a long way to easing the pain of medical malpractice and moving life forward. Financial recoveries taken from medical professionals also serves as punishment, ensuring that future patients will receive the safe care they expect.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Nursing home blamed in wrongful death lawsuit,” Jennifer Delgado, Jan. 2, 2013