Placing a loved one in a nursing home is often a difficult decision for families, but peace of mind comes with believing that your loved one will be taken care of and protected. When nursing home abuse or neglect leads to the death of a loved one, surviving family members can be left devastated, angry, and heartbroken.
While no amount of money can make up for the loss that these individuals have experienced, it is important for them to know that they have a legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue maximum compensation and justice. At Shegerian & Associates, our team offers a nursing home death attorney who stands by ready to fight for your family to the fullest extent possible, holding wrongdoers accountable.
Causes of Wrongful Death in California Nursing Homes
There are plenty of nursing homes that are staffed with competent, well-trained, and compassionate employees who provide their residents with quality care. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes operate with this level of care, and nursing home abuse is a startlingly common occurrence. This may cause or contribute to the wrongful death of residents due to:
- Physical Abuse. Because many nursing home residents are frail, any type of physical abuse can cause internal injuries or head injuries that lead to death. This includes slapping, slapping, punching, or pushing.
- Neglect. Bed sores, pressure ulcers, infections, and other health-related issues that are not given timely adequate medical attention have the potential to lead to fatal complications.
- Falls. Elders often lack the coordination and strength to stand or walk on their own. Negligent staff who fail to supervise residents or physically abuse staff can cause wrongful deaths.
- Unsanitary or Unsafe Conditions. Nursing homes are required to take certain steps to ensure the safety of residents and adhere to a certain degree of sanitation. Nursing homes who fail to do so may be liable if a resident dies due to injuries or illnesses.
- Malnutrition or Dehydration. Caregivers have a responsibility to monitor the food and water intake of their residents. Malnutrition or dehydration can occur when residents are intentionally or unintentionally not given the water or food that they need to be sustained.
- Medication Errors. Nursing home residents are often required to be given a certain dosage of medication at regular intervals. Residents who are not given their correct dosage of medication on time are at risk of fatal complications.
- Elopement. Without proper supervision, residents who have diseases that impact their memories may wander away from nursing homes. Nursing homes must have adequate policies and safety measures in place that prevent residents from leaving the site unsupervised and potentially being injured.
When signs of nursing home abuse appear, concerned individuals should report them immediately. Without prompt reporting and recourse, prolonged elder abuse can lead to the death of a resident.
Proving Nursing Home Negligence in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death claim can be pursued against a negligent nursing home by surviving loved ones. In order to be successful at proving this type of claim, it must be shown that the nursing home or its staff acted with negligence. Four elements must be present to prove negligence:
- Duty of Care. The nursing home owed the deceased resident a certain duty of care, which is typically a legal obligation not to harm the resident. This duty includes providing care, services, and safety to the resident.
- Breach of Duty. This element means that the nursing home breached this duty of care, or failed to uphold it. This may involve the nursing home failing to screen staff members or staff members failing to supervise residents.
- Causation. The breach of duty by the nursing home directly or indirectly contributed to or caused the resident’s death.
- Damages. There must be damages sustained by the surviving family members, including medical costs prior to the death, pain and suffering, or loss of companionship, guidance, or comfort.
Standing by in Your Time of Need
A nursing home death is a preventable injustice that can be a life-altering emotional and financial burden for family members and loved ones to bear. When families suspect that a nursing home resident has been the fatal victim of elder abuse, neglect, negligence, or other forms of misconduct, they need reliable legal counsel to guide them.
The compassionate attorneys at Shegerian & Associates understand the complexities of such cases and are willing to fight for the rights of families and concerned loved ones forced to deal with a nursing home death. If you’re in need of excellent legal services and trustworthy representation to pursue justice for the death of a loved one, contact our team today and consult with our nursing home death lawyer.