Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Legal action may be necessary to hold the negligent person accountable
When someone dies by suicide due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, your only legal recourse may be filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death action arising out of the suicide of a patient, Mr. Simpson and his staff will usually deal directly with the family members of the decedent.
Rarely do family members pursue a mental health malpractice case for money, although seeking money is the only ethical reason for a lawsuit. The goal for many clients is usually justice and holding irresponsible people accountable for their actions.
It is important that attorneys recognize that family members often have misplaced feelings of guilt. They feel guilty that they didn’t see the warning signs, that they didn’t prevent the death of their loved one. They often wrongly assume that the suicide was the result of their own conduct – an argument with the decedent or some other single act or perceived failure as a parent or spouse (see our page about suicide myths). Family members are not trained in suicide prevention. Mental health providers should be. Once family members understand it is the duty of the mental health professional to detect and prevent suicide, it helps family members to understand there is no basis for a family member to have guilt…words often easier said than done.
Suicide a result of a disorder, not a single act or event
It is important for loved ones to know that, in ninety five percent (95%) of cases, those who die by suicide suffer from a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Suicide is almost always the result of the disorder, and if the patient is under the care of mental health professionals, professionals not competently protecting a patient. Suicide is not the result of a single act or event. Mentally ill patients respond to stressful events in a maladaptive way. It is not the event itself which causes the suicide, but the patient’s maladaptive coping strategy and professionals not protecting the patient when the attempted suicide is foreseeable.
Our law firm provides compassionate representation
The extraordinary bereavement typically suffered by family members of those who die by suicide should also affect the way that we practice law. First, attorneys need to be unusually responsive and open to the family.
Many of our clients have our cellular phone numbers. They know that they can – and at times do – call us at any time of the day or night to talk about the case, or just to talk about how their life is going. We have, for example, received calls from clients on the anniversary of some significant day in the decedent’s life.
Second, the attorney should play an active role in informing his or her clients of the availability of resources that can help family members. Organizations like Parents of Suicide (www.parentsofsuicide.com) and Survivors of Suicide (www.suicidology.org/suicide-survivors) exist to support families during the grieving process.
Other organizations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org) and the American Association of Suicidology (www.suicidology.org) provide very helpful resources for families.
How an attorney can help
We realize we can’t bring back a loved one. But your actions could help prevent the loss of others in the future.
Break the cycle. Help prevent future suicides. Contact a compassionate attorney who cares about people and demands justice. Contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson.
For a free case review, call 214-618-8222 or contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson online. When a loved one has died by suicide due to the negligence of a medical practitioner, it’s important to take action sooner than later to protect your rights. You can feel free to speak with a caring and compassionate lawyer who fights hard for families affected by suicide.
The Law Offices of Skip Simpson – we’re on your side.