Did a loved one die because they were denied medical treatment while in jail or prison? If so, you might have the legal basis for pursuing a wrongful death claim. Incarcerated persons have legal rights which may be violated if they are denied necessary medical care.
In Ohio, wrongful death attorney Aaron Bensinger of Bensinger Law puts his extensive knowledge and experience to work for you. When you need an aggressive advocate who will work tirelessly to get justice for you and your family, contact Bensinger Law for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
What Are Prisoners’ Rights to Medical Treatment in Jail or Prison?
In 1976, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) held that inmate rights to medical care are established in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Eighth Amendment specifically states that with regard to a jailed or incarcerated person, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The SCOTUS ruling held that by displaying deliberate indifference to an inmate’s serious need for medical attention, state prison officials violated the inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights.
In a subsequent Federal Court of Appeals case, the court ruled that prisoners have the right to health care, specifically, “services at a level reasonably commensurate with modern medical science and of a quality acceptable within prudent professional standards.”
Despite these and other court findings, no singular standard of inmate medical care has been defined or universally adopted in the U.S. As a result, jails and prisons routinely violate the legal rights of individuals in their custody by failing to provide adequate care or denying treatment to inmates.
Can an Inmate Be Denied Medical Treatment?
Inmates can legally be denied medical treatment for a variety of reasons. However, no jail or prison can legally deny treatment in response to an inmate’s serious medical need.
Although the definition of a serious medical need is not clearly established, some situations that might qualify as serious medical needs include:
- A condition that causes considerable pain;
- A condition that significantly limits daily activities;
- A significant injury;
- A condition that has been diagnosed by a doctor;
- A condition that a reasonable person would determine requires a doctor’s attention; or
- A condition that, without treatment, poses the risk of excessive harm.
If your loved one died as a result of being denied medical treatment in prison or jail, it’s likely that their condition fell into one or more of the above categories. If so, you might have a valid cause of action for a wrongful death suit.
Should I Consider Taking Legal Action? Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Case?
If you believe the victim died because their inmate rights to medical care were denied, consider talking to a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney can review the details of the victim’s death to determine whether you have a viable wrongful death claim under Ohio law. If so, your lawyer must build a persuasive case to demonstrate that the at-fault party or parties acted with deliberate indifference to the victim’s serious medical need.
Proving your claim will pose a complex legal challenge. Having an experienced wrongful death lawyer on your side can be invaluable. Your attorney may attempt to negotiate a fair financial settlement for your claim, or you may have to file a civil lawsuit and take your case to court.
Either way, you could be entitled to recover compensation for:
- The victim’s funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of the victim’s future income;
- Loss of potential inheritance;
- Loss of love and companionship; and
- Emotional and mental anguish.
You must be legally eligible to benefit from a wrongful death claim in Ohio based on your relationship to the victim. Typically, this includes the victim’s spouse, children, and parents. Under Ohio law, a designed personal representative of the victim must bring the legal action on the eligible survivors’ behalf. A wrongful death attorney can help you determine if you meet the eligibility criteria and explain the process for taking legal action.
Talk to an Ohio Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
In northwest Ohio, Aaron Bensinger of Bensinger Law can help you pursue justice and fair financial compensation for the loss of your loved one. No settlement will undo the tragedy that occurred. However, holding the at-fault party responsible will send a powerful message and help provide security and peace of mind for your family.
With an experienced Ohio wrongful death lawyer like Aaron Bensinger on your side, you will have a compassionate advocate fighting to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us now to learn more about how we can help if your loved one died because they were denied medical treatment in jail in Ohio.