When someone passes away in a hospital, their family members may want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if they believe the death should have been prevented. However, you may be wondering if this is worth doing and how successful these suits can actually be. A quick look at the numbers shows that they can bring in a substantial amount of money, all while helping to hold people accountable for their actions.
Just looking at cases involving public hospitals in Illinois, for example, $180 million has been distributed in these cases. This money was awarded in the last ten years alone.
Some hospitals were more involved than others. Those in Cook County took on the majority of the cases. On the west side of Chicago, a large amount of money was also distributed for cases involving the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. Additionally, mental health centers and Veterans Affairs centers had payouts, though to a lesser degree.
So, how many actual deaths were involved in these payouts? The total looked in the study was just 184. What this means is that just under $1 million was awarded per death on average. Of course, it's worth noting that this is simply the average, and many cases actually paid out far less or far more than that. Still, it gives a sense of the types of payments that are being made on an annual basis.
Have you lost a loved one, and do you believe it was a wrongful death? If so, you may want to see what rights you have to compensation. Please note that this post regarding past awards in wrongful death cases does not guarantee a particular outcome in your case.
Source: Better Government Association, "Illinois Public Hospitals Pay $180 Million For Wrongful Death Cases" Brett Chase, accessed Mar. 20, 2015