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Can I Seek Damages for Hospice Care Negligence?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury, Wrongful Death


Hospice is an end-of-life care individuals can rely on for weeks or months. They rely on hospice to manage their pain and live as comfortably as possible with a terminal illness. Unfortunately, many patients who enter hospice care receive careless and reckless treatment. The physicians, nurses, and nursing assistants responsible for their care, some of whom have inappropriately little training, can make devastating mistakes that inflict pain on their patients and worsen their quality of life during an already physically, emotionally, and financially difficult time.

Individuals who are harmed by negligence during hospice care are entitled to move forward with personal injury claims and seek damages from the hospice provider. However, the victims of hospice negligence may pass away before they are able to obtain compensation. In this situation, the remaining family members should speak with an attorney about whether their loved one’s claim survives and whether they have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

A personal injury attorney in Chicago can help you file a claim to seek damages for your or your loved one’s damages or losses. Call us at (312) 236-2900 to receive a free initial consultation.

Personal Injury Claims for Hospice Care Negligence

Patients receiving hospice care are entitled to the same medical standard of care as patients who do not have a terminal diagnosis. Medical professionals are required to treat their patients with “the same degree of knowledge, skill, and ability as an ordinary professional would exercise under similar circumstances.”

When physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to uphold their legal duty to patients during care or when they make careless and preventable medical errors, they should be held responsible. Any patient who suffers physical, psychological, and/or financial injuries due to a medical error has the right to pursue damages from the responsible party. Being terminally ill does not diminish a patient’s rights.

During a negligence claim, a victim may pursue compensation for:

  • Medical bills related to the error
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional pain
  • Loss of quality of life

Illinois’ Survival Act

The patient who was injured by a medical error during hospice care may pass away before being able to file a personal injury lawsuit or before their claim is resolved.

If this occurs, the surviving spouse, parent, or child should speak with an experienced attorney about the Illinois’ Survival Act. This law enables the deceased patient’s executor or administer to file or continue the suit on their behalf. The Illinois’ Survival Act does not create a new cause of action for the surviving family or estate. Instead, it simply continues the cause of action the descendent had during their life.

The executor or administrator of the estate can pursue many of the damages the descendent would have been entitled to as well as funeral and burial expenses. However, the estate cannot obtain damages for the descendant’s emotional distress experienced between the time of the medical negligence and their death.

Any compensation obtained goes to the estate before it may be distributed to the descendant’s beneficiaries.

Illinois’ Wrongful Death Law

If a hospice patient passes away because of medical negligence, their family may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. Illinois wrongful death law creates a new cause of action for a surviving spouse, parent, or adult child. During this type of suit, the family member can pursue damages for their and other family member’s injuries, not the descendent’s injuries. They may pursue compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help With Your Claim

It can be difficult to determine if a patient or their family has a legal claim based on a medical error that occurred during hospice care. An experienced and skilled personal injury attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help. One of our attorneys can thoroughly investigate your claim to determine if either your loved one or surviving family has the right to recover damages for medical negligence that caused the patient’s pain and suffering.

To learn more about how a lawyer can help, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 today and set up a free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900