Is the Hospital Responsible for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What if a loved one dies from the injuries sustained in a serious accident while the case is pending?”


The hospital is supposed to keep you safe and help you heal from whatever medical emergency or problems you are having. However, hospitals are not immune from making mistakes and, sometimes, can cause the death of a patient. Depending on the circumstances of the death, the victim’s loved ones may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. If the death of your loved one is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, the personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help.


hospital-hallway-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Wrongful-Death-Attorney-300x225Wrongful Death Overview


North Carolina law states that there may be recovery through a wrongful death claim “when the death of a person is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another.” An attorney can look over the facts of the case and help you determine if a wrongful death action may be appropriate. While every case is difference and unique, there are two situations that commonly lead to a hospital being liable in wrongful death actions:


  • When hospital staff is negligent in their actions, leading to a patient’s death; and
  • The hospital is negligent itself, causing the death of another.


Doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, and other hospital staff employed by the hospital are the parties that can cause the hospital to become liable for a wrongful death. There is usually some type of medical malpractice committed by these employees that causes a wrongful claim to be brought. Types of medical malpractice that are most common include:


  • Misdiagnosing a patient,
  • Not administering a patient’s medications in the proper manner,
  • Incorrect charting of the patient,
  • Failing to monitor a patient’s vitals, or
  • Missing symptoms a patient might be having.


This is not a comprehensive list of errors medical staff can make, but commonly occurring ones. It is important to note that an error by an independent contractor, or someone who is not employed by the hospital, will not cause the hospital to be liable for any resulting injuries.


An employee being negligent is not the only way a hospital can become liable for wrongful death. There are actions that the hospital itself can take that rise the level of negligence. Failing to properly vet potential employees, improperly caring for and maintaining hospital equipment, and mismanaging the overall care administered in the hospital are all ways in which the hospital itself can be negligent, making it liable in a wrongful death case. Hospitals are required to maintain their equipment, develop safety protocols for their employees, and overall to make sure the hospital is operating in an efficient manner. Failure to do this can cause the hospital to be liable for wrongful deaths.


Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be especially difficult to come to terms with when the death is unexpected or caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another. If you are seeking help for the wrongful death of a loved one, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations determining when a wrongful death action can be brought in North Carolina. The attorneys are Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you receive the compensation for a loved ones death. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and the new location under renovation in Monroe. Contact us, for a free consultation, call us at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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