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The Rights And Duties Of Heirs In A Wrongful Death Claim

Nothing is more devastating than a death of a loved one. It’s hard to cope with the death of someone close to you, especially in the event of untimely death due to someone else’s negligence.

Besides dealing with grief, the immediate family must also provide a decent send-off for their kin. The hospital and burial costs, together with coming to terms with the untimely death, can be too much for the immediate family to handle.

Wooden judge gavel and law books.

Wooden judge gavel and law books

Understanding Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is due to the misconduct or negligence of another person or entity. Wrongful death can be caused by many things, including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, manufacturing defects, or even criminal activity.

In such an event, wrongful death suits may be the best legal process that ensures that the immediate family receives justice, including financial support to cover the expenses incurred due to the untimely death of a family member.

After receiving the news of the death of a loved one, it’s common for people close to the deceased to be grief-stricken and confused. Most people don’t know what to do next. At this point, understanding wrongful death claims can help guide your next course of action. This article discusses the rights and duties of heirs in a wrongful death claim.

1. Pursuing Legal Action

The death of a loved one can be overwhelming, but as heirs, it may be necessary to pursue legal action. If you decide to pursue legal action, your next step should be consulting a wrongful death attorney to understand the process. In New York, however, only the representative of the decedent (the person who died) can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawyer can determine liability for the death of your loved one, gather evidence, build a case, and represent you in negotiating for any compensation you deserve. The lawyer can also get permission from the decedent’s representative, which can also be a family member of the deceased, to start legal proceedings.

While financial compensation can’t bring back your loved one, it may be the only option to ensure your financial security, especially if the deceased was the family breadwinner.

2. Bringing The Family Together

Once you’ve received news of your loved one’s demise, ensure that you have your family or friends to support you. Surround yourself with people who care about you. In the event of untimely death, most people tend to get depressed and can easily isolate.

Falling apart can only worsen the matter since you have to deal with the untimely demise of your loved one. Attend to members of your family with severe emotional challenges. To avoid any psychological or emotional damage following the death of your loved one, stick together as a family. It will ensure that you help each other cope.

3. Cooperating With Your Lawyer To Gather Evidence

While tasks like gathering evidence in times of grief can be tough, it’s also important to increase your chances of obtaining justice for the deceased. This can happen by cooperating with your lawyer in obtaining more evidence. Remember that the defendant will also protect themselves before the court, and a weak case might reduce the chances of getting suitable compensation.

4. Planning The Funeral

The heirs to the deceased have both the right and duty to arrange and plan a funeral for their loved one. They can decide when and how they will send off their kin. Whether by cremation or burial, heirs to the deceased have the right to decide what happens to the body of their family member.

5. Receive The Inheritance

Legally, heirs are the next of kin who will automatically inherit the estate of the deceased. In most cases, heirs are the deceased’s immediate family, for example, children or spouse. When a loved one dies due to wrongful death, the heirs are entitled to the lawsuit proceeds. However, heirs need to understand their rights to the estate of their loved one to ensure their interests are protected.

Conclusion

Heirs have the right to inherit the loved one’s estate in the event of wrongful death. They are also entitled to seek justice for the deceased. However, seeking justice while grieving can be overwhelming. It’s advisable to seek legal advice from a wrongful death attorney to know the way forward. If you aren’t aware of your rights and duties as heirs, the attorney will help you understand them to protect your rights and interests as heirs.

An Employers Guide To The Worker Compensation Claims Process

As an employer, your primary responsibility to ensure your employees healthy and safe working environment. However, there are instances when workers get injured or become ill due to work. This is where the workers compensation insurance program enters the picture.

Under this program, employers must buy insurance coverage that provides medical and wages replacement benefits to workers who sustained an injury or illness due to their jobs. Regardless of who’s at fault for what happened, the injured or sick employee can get compensated. But before they can recover compensation, you need to file a claim on your employees behalf.

Keep reading this article to familiarise the employers guide to the workers compensation claims
process.

businessman in blue jacket giving form for compensation claim to

businessman in blue jacket giving form for compensation claim to worker with broken arm at table in office, compensation concept

What Is Workers Compensation For Employers?

As mentioned, workers compensation insurance is designed to compensate employees who are injured or become at will. Some injuries and illnesses covered by this insurance coverage can include sudden accidents, repetitive stress injuries, occupational diseases caused by workplace
conditions, and many more.

Hence, if you want to provide financial assistance to your injured or ill workers, you should carry workers compensation right from the start. Failure to do so can result in some legal consequences. For example, suppose you don’t have insurance coverage. In that case, your injured or sick employee can sue your business with the help of a lawyer from a reliable law firm like Terry Katz and Associates. When this happens, you’d need to hire a lawyer to represent and defend your company against the suing worker.

Steps To Navigate The Claims Process

Now that you know what workers compensation is for employers, the next thing you can do is familiarise yourself with the steps associated with the claims process. Under the workers compensation insurance program, you’re responsible for filing the claim to your insurance
carrier.

To make sure the claim is filed correctly, below are a few steps you need to consider from the
get-go:

1. Remind Your Employee To Report The Injury

To make the claims process as smooth as possible, you need to ensure your employee reports in writing the injury or illness to you as soon as possible. Although the notification time varies from

one state to another, the standard timeframe would be within 30 days from the date of the accident or sickness.

Generally, prompt reporting of what happened is crucial for the claims process. When workers fail to do so, they may lose their right to compensation under the insurance program.

2. Help The Employee With The Paperwork

After being notified, you should assist the employee with completing the necessary paperwork. For example, you need to inform them about their rights under the workers compensation program. Make sure to provide them with forms to fill out. These can include the workers comp claim form and the report of injury form, which should be submitted to your state workers compensation board.

When it comes to filling out the claim form, make sure the employee writes down all the details, including the nature and type of the injury as well as when, how, and where it occurred. This way, you can ensure a successful filing later on.

3. File The Claim Form

Once your employee fills out the claim form, the next step you should take is to file the claim form to your workers comp insurance provider. In doing so, you may need to submit some supporting documents, including a medical report from your employees doctor. These pieces of documentation may be necessary to support your workers claim and increase their chances of receiving compensation.

4. The Insurance Carrier Will Either Approve Or Deny The Claim

After the filing, the insurer will review the forms submitted and determine whether the employee should be granted the benefits or not. If they approve the claim, they’ll notify you and the employee with the payment details. Your worker and their lawyer will step in the process by accepting the payment offer to cover benefits or negotiating a larger settlement offer.

On the other hand, if the insurer denies the claim, the employee will be notified. At this point, they have the option to file a motion for reconsideration from the insurer or institute a formal appeal with your states workers comp board.

5. Your Employee Returns To Work

When your employee is injured or sick at work, they’re given ample time to heal. Once they’re done with the recovery, they should notify you and the insurance carrier in writing that you can return to work.

When this happens, you can provide some programs to help the employee get back to work productively. For example, you can give them some training in other job positions if they can no longer perform their regular functions because of the injury or illness.

Bottom Line

Sometimes, your employees can sustain injury or sickness at work. When this happens, you should be ready to support them financially, emotionally, and mentally. This is one reason you should have workers comp to ensure financial protection to your workers and avoid potential non-compliance issues that may affect your business.

However, if you need help navigating a workers comp claims process more efficiently, keep this guide in mind. By doing so, you’ll not only make the entire filing process much easier and faster, but you’ll also improve your employees chance of getting compensated.

Top Reasons Why Healthcare Businesses Get Sued In 2021

Healthcare businesses work in one of the most sensitive and risky fields, human error or negligence can cause life-threatening problems, and can even lead to death. The stakes are high when dealing with a patient’s health, when things go wrong, it can leave healthcare businesses vulnerable to lawsuits. There are around 85,000 lawsuits filed for medical malpractice every year, and an estimated 1 million injuries related to medical care, in the US alone! With the worldwide pandemic, there are now even more cases than ever. Here are some of the top reasons why healthcare businesses get sued in 2021.

Delayed Diagnosis And Misdiagnosis

The most common cause of lawsuits filed against healthcare professionals is that of misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis. With about one-third of all cases pertaining to these reasons. The problems that can come from an incorrect diagnosis can be severe, with no fault on the patient, with many cases leading to incorrect or unnecessary surgery, the prescription if incorrect drugs or a serious issue can go untreated. Up to 12 million patients are affected by misdiagnosis each year, with up to 80,000 deaths related to negligence in diagnosis.

One of the top things a healthcare business can do to avoid lawsuits is to prevent misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by putting in extra effort and care in the diagnosis process with patients. Healthcare professionals should seek a second opinion on complicated diagnoses, they can also work with nurses to do a preliminary diagnosis to determine the priority of patients. Having a well-trained and competent staff that can spot serious issues and double-check a doctor’s diagnosis can save lives and reduce the risk of ending up in court.

Mistakes With Prescription Drugs

The American Food and Drug Administration is said to receive upwards of 100,000 medication error reports annually. Wrongly prescribed medication is a big problem and is one of the top reasons why healthcare businesses get sued.

Medication errors can come from both patient/caregiver and healthcare professionals. There are nine types of medication errors from healthcare businesses that could lead to a lawsuit, including failure to prescribe a drug, prescribing the wrong drug or dosage, failure to take into account a patient’s medical conditions or drug allergies, or prescribing drugs unlawfully. This is unfortunately quite common with up to 1 in 5 American patients who have received a medical error during hospital stays or receiving health care. Doctors, pharmacists, and caregivers can all be liable for suing from errors with prescription drugs

Medical Procedure Errors

In the United States, there are around 4,000 surgical errors each year, with some resulting in death. Medical procedures and surgeries pose risks either through error, medical complications or because of the complexity of a procedure. When we go in for an operation we are putting our lives in the hands of the medical professionals, but sometimes errors will occur and could lead to a lawsuit from the patient or their families. Some of these errors can include performing surgery on an incorrect body part, performing a procedure on the incorrect patient, complications with anaesthesia, not following proper medical procedures, or even leaving medical materials inside the body. Medical malpractice cases end 96.5% of the time in settlements, with the average malpractice settlement in The United States is around $300,000 and can have huge implications for any healthcare business.

Medical Malpractice Claims Due To COVID-19

Throughout 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the planet, hospitals and healthcare professionals came under a huge amount of pressure from dealing with the virus and the increased number of patients. Through April and June of 2020, there was a 400% increase in medical malpractice reports, with the increase being linked to COVID-19. Following proper pandemic procedures, sourcing the correct medical equipment, and giving proper support to medical staff can help reduce the chance of medical malpractice in the very trying and difficult conditions that have been experienced due to the pandemic.

What Actions Can Be Taken By Authorities?

If a healthcare business is suspect of fraudulent activity or medical malpractice, it may be subject to investigation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). If you suspect your healthcare business is under investigation, you may need some OIG investigation tips to help avoid some of the consequences of a conviction. If a healthcare business is in an investigation, it can lose funding from federal programs, receive sizable fines, and can even face criminal charges and medical licenses revoked.

Healthcare Businesses Should Keep Up With The News

Keeping up with current events in any field is important for any business. For businesses in the healthcare industry, it can be important for following medical developments, pandemic-related news, and news relating to medical lawsuits or changes in medical malpractice policy. You can follow or use certain news platforms to follow industry-specific developments or to publish press releases relating to the field. Taking these steps can help any business interact with other professionals in the industry and keep up-to-date with industry news and developments.

Fraud

Finally, Fraud can be a huge issue in the medical field, with over 300 convictions and over $6 billion in fraudulent claims. Both patients and medical practitioners can be convicted of fraudulent activity and can even result in jap time. The economic cost of fraud can be huge, with an estimated 3-10% of all medical expenditure being fraudulent.

Medical malpractice and fraud will continue to be a big issue throughout the rest of the year. With huge pressure on the healthcare system due to the ongoing pandemic, it will continue to be a difficult and stressful time for healthcare professionals and businesses. Following proper medical practices and taking pandemic precautions seriously will be required to help reduce the instances of healthcare businesses facing lawsuits, fines, loss of licenses, or criminal convictions. It is the responsibility of every healthcare business to take rigorous measures to make sure their standards and practices are of the highest possible, and all precautions are taken to ensure the safest and most honest treatment for its patients, and the proper care and support for its medical employees.