About Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death is a type of civil case, typically brought against a negligent party that has wrongfully caused the death of another party. In nursing home wrongful death cases, the victim’s loved ones are usually pressing civil charges (a lawsuit) against the facility for negligence and/or abuse.
When starting a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home, there are four factors involved that a nursing home attorney will need to know in order to review your case. They include:
- Whether the death was caused in some fashion by the nursing home
- Whether the conduct of the staff members, healthcare professionals, or caregivers at the nursing home contributed to the death
- Whether there are surviving family members of the victim which can include a spouse, children, other dependents, and beneficiaries
- Whether the victim’s death has resulted in damages or pain and suffering
Reasons for Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home
Nursing home residents almost always require the care of professionals for daily living needs, medical needs, or cognitive needs, which is why they are in nursing homes in the first place. However, when wrongful death occurs, it happens in the very hands of the professionals who were entrusted to take care of these elderly residents. Wrongful death can result from a variety of issues, and the underlying problem behind the majority of issues is nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Dehydration and Malnutrition: If nursing home residents require a feeding tube or help with feeding themselves, they rely on nursing home caregivers for assistance everyday. Yet, understaffed and under-trained caregivers can insert feeding tubes incorrectly, forget to feed special diets, rush through feedings, and more. Severe dehydration and malnutrition can lead to death.
- Assault and Abuse: Assault and abuse takes place frequently in nursing homes, either at the hands of nursing home staff or other residents. Even if another resident assaults the victim, the nursing home could be liable since the residents weren’t being properly monitored.
- Wandering and Elopement: Wandering and elopement is the cause of many deaths in nursing homes. When residents wander out of safety, they put themselves at risk for dangerous slips and falls. Nursing homes are responsible for ensuring that every resident stays safe.
- Bedsores: Also called pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, when these open sores are allowed to develop on a person’s body, they are more susceptible to infections and many eventually succumb to sepsis or septic shock as a result.
- Excessive Restraint: In some instances, caregivers may forcefully restrain an unruly resident. However, older adults have weaker bones and immune systems which place them at high risk for sprains, broken bones, suffocation, and even death if they are excessively restrained.
- Unsanitary Conditions: Bacteria, mold, poor heating and air, dirty water, and other unsanitary living conditions in a nursing home could potentially lead to death.
- Medication Mistakes: Overdosing a resident and/or administering the wrong medication could lead to death.
It is imperative to always look after your loved ones if they are in a nursing home, and keep an eye out for signs of abuse and neglect. However, in some instances, even with the most stringent observations, wrongful death can take place. Since there are an array of different laws pertaining to wrongful death cases that vary according to state, it is important to retain legal representation when dealing these types of lawsuits.
Getting Help in a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Case
If your loved one has been a victim of hospital or nursing home wrongful death at the hands of a nursing home or in a hospital setting, an experienced medical malpractice or nursing home abuse attorney may be able to help you to recover damages for your pain and suffering. At the Brown & Brothers law firm, nursing home abuse and medical malpractice attorneys have helped numerous victims obtain justice and receive financial compensation for their case. Give us a call today and we will be happy to provide you with a free consultation at 1-800-600-4210.