How can I begin an investigation of my sister's death at a hospital when mal practice is suspected?

Asked over 1 year ago - Henderson, NV

My sister passed away in February from a heart attack in the hospital. She went in for kidny pain and was given heavy pain medications. She had a history of low oxygen intake when on pain meds but she was not put on any oxygen when she was admitted. The autopsy also revealed that she had a bad heart which we were not aware of, but she was not put on a heart monitor, which by the time the nurses checked on her in her room, the heart attack had already happened and and she was seizing from her brain dying. The stories of the nurses kept changing when we asked them what happened and no one has been able to explain why she wasn't on oxygen or a heart monitor.

Additional information

This occured in Denver, Colorado. Would I need to hire an attorney in Colorado or could I do this from Las Vegas? And she was not married nor did she have children. My Mother and I were her medical contacts.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Richard S. Johnson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should speak with a medical malpractice attorney. Chances are very good that the hospital will not share much information with you. Given the 1 year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Nevada, you should act quickly.

    If you would like a free consultation, call me at 702-823-3333. www.naimidilbeck.com
  2. Malosack Berjis

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm sorry for your loss. The best thing you can do right now is to contact a local wrongful death attorney because they would be much more successful in conducting any kind of investigation that you will be on your own.

    Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and... more
  3. J. Scott Dilbeck

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . That is a terrible story and my heart goes out to your family. You will not get any cooperation from the hospital and you need to retain a medical malpractice attorney immediately. As someone else noted, Nevada has only a 1-year statute of limitations and at best 10 of those 12 months remain. There is a lot of investigation and other work to be done in those 10 months. If you haven't filed a lawsuit within that year, the case is literally over. Feel free to contact our office if you would like to discuss the options, and challenges, in detail.

  4. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your sister was married, usually the next of kin, needs to be the point person in starting the investigation with a experienced malpractice attorney. You didn't give us her age, but if your sister was married or has children, help them by having someone look into what happened. I am sorry for your loss, and hope you are able to get some answers as to what happened. Nevada has some tough laws regarding malpractice cases. I wish you the best of luck.

  5. Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

    Contributor Level 19

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Actually, if your sister was a citizen/resident of Colorado and was in a Colorado hospital, and all of the doctors who treated her while admitted were from Colorado, t and given that the acts of alleged malpractice occurred in that State, hen any medical malpractice/wrongful death action would likely have to be brought in Colorado because the State of Nevada would not have personal jurisdiction over the hospital/doctors. It is believed that Colorado has a 2 year statute of limitations (time period for the bringing of a lawsuit) for wrongful death claims, although this could be confirmed by a CO attorney. You should immediately file for Letters of Administration for the Estate of your sister (again, if she was a CO resident, and her assets are in that State, that is where I think you should go to do that). Once Letters are issued to you or your mother, you will have the authority to demand her hosptial recordsunder HIPAA. Good luck.

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Have one of the above malpractice lawyers order her medical records and send them to an expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care.

  7. James Otto Heiting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You or your attorney will get the medical records and then will review the facts, probably with a medical expert, to determine if there is a case that can/should be prosecuted.

  8. Ryan Alexander

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you are serious, you would begin by buying the medical records to provide them to a medical malpractice attorney in the county (or state) where the hospital care was provided.

    Clark County, Nevada practitioner.

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