Nursing Home Wrongful Death
The death of a loved one can be devastating, especially when it did not need to have occurred.
As nursing home wrongful death lawyers, we have represented countless clients who have lost a loved one due to nursing home negligence for more than 40 years. We know well the pain and frustration faced by family members, as well as how nursing homes seek to evade accountability and responsibility for their negligence.
While no guarantee can be made for a successful outcome, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through settlements and at trial. We are tenacious in uncovering the facts of a wrongful death, using medical experts to establish the standards of care that should have been provided, and proving nursing home negligence.
We provide a free consultation so that we can learn about a case, and so that you can learn how we can help. We provide full-service representation, which in part means that we advance all costs of litigation on behalf of our clients. Such costs include expert fees, deposition costs, court costs, and other costs associated with proving a case (these costs are then paid back through settlement proceeds and trial and arbitration awards). We believe that clients should not have to be concerned about how to pay such costs while they are grieving for the loss of their loved one.
The Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes
Each year, countless residents of nursing home and long-term care facilities needlessly die as the result of nursing home negligence, and (in some tragic cases), nursing home abuse. The common causes of death due to nursing home negligence include:
- Bedsores, pressure sores, and resulting infections and sepsis
- Medication errors
- Injuries as a result of wandering from the nursing home
- The failure to recognize developing medical conditions (such as infections) and to promptly treat such conditions properly
Common Nursing Home Responses to Avoid Liability
When a death occurs in a nursing home or long-term care facility which may potentially have been caused by negligence, often the nursing home will treat such death as if it should be excused because the resident likely did not have many more years (or months) left. This callous attitude is wrong.
Nonetheless, nursing homes use this approach in seeking to get families to overlook the fact that they should be held to account for death of the their loved one. Just because death is inevitable does not mean that anyone deserves to have their life cut short.
A second defense that nursing homes may use is to make a family feel guilty about putting their loved one in the nursing home in the first place. Nursing homes know that if they can make a family feel guilty about not caring for their loved one at home, the family may not sue them.
A third defense is that the nursing home did not really cause the death of the resident, that instead some other condition was in fact the cause of death. They may assert that the broken bone caused by a fall that caused a catastrophic chain reaction and rapid decline of the resident’s health was not the true “cause” of death, but that such decline would have happened even if the resident did not suffer the fall.
A fourth defense is to blame someone else, such as the hospital to which the injured resident was transferred. The sepsis caused by the pressure sore was not really that severe, they may claim, it was the hospital and doctors at the hospital who failed to treat the resident properly who in fact caused the death of the patient.
When we accept a nursing home wrongful death case, we rely on medical experts and evidence to prove the cases of our clients, and disprove the incorrect assertions of nursing home defenses.
What is the Underlying Cause of Nursing Home Wrongful Death?
While there are many physical causes of nursing home death, the underlying cause behind most nursing home deaths is likely due to one thing – profits. Many nursing homes put profits ahead of resident welfare. The focus on profits leads to understaffing, low wages (which attracts lesser-skilled employees), and a lack of investment in measures to better keep residents safe (like ensuring that proper resident health and medical assessments are regularly undertaken).
We Demand Accountability in Cases of Nursing Home Wrongful Death
We and our client families know that nothing can be done to bring back their loved one. We also know that unless action is taken to hold nursing homes financially accountable for their negligence and the wrongful death that results, they will continue their practices which may lead to further needless death and grieving families.
In addition to seeking fair compensation for our clients, we also want the nursing homes to change their practices – not only the ones causing the deaths of the family members of our clients, but also similarly-situated nursing homes. In an important respect, one of the final acts of a love one may be to prevent similar death and tragedy for another family.