Wrongful Death and Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents are reliant on staff for their health and well-being. Sadly, it is not uncommon for elderly residents to suffer at the hands of abusive or neglectful nursing home staff. Sometimes, this type of treatment results in death.
When nursing home residents die from neglect or abuse, it may be classified as a wrongful death. Following a nursing home wrongful death, nursing home abuse attorney Lynn C. Harris works on behalf of surviving loved ones in Salt Lake City, UT, Provo, UT, and surrounding areas to hold liable parties accountable for the damages they have caused.
Causes of Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths
If nursing home residents suffer preventable injuries stemming from abuse or neglect, and it leads to their death, it is likely to be considered a wrongful death. In a nursing home setting, common causes of wrongful death include:
- Physical abuse
- Failure to prevent or breakup resident-on-resident violence or abuse
- Failure to diagnose or treat medical conditions, such as bed sores, infections, and sepsis
- Neglecting basic healthcare needs
- Medication errors (i.e. mixing up medications, giving the wrong medication dosage, failing to administer prescribed medication)
Recognizing Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Victims of nursing home wrongful deaths often suffer from neglect or abuse for extended periods of time before it leads to their death. Unfortunately, the elderly may be too afraid to report abuse or neglect, or they may be unable to communicate effectively due to cognitive issues. It is important that family members recognize signs of abuse or neglect so that they can step in and take action before it causes irrevocable damages. Potential signs of abuse or neglect include:
- Frequent illness
- Regular reports of accidents or injuries
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, or welts
- Rapid weight loss
- Sudden or unusual changes in behavior
- Becoming agitated, withdrawn, or fearful when nursing home residents are around
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
If any signs of abuse or neglect were present prior to a loved one’s death, it is important to work with a wrongful death attorney to investigate the cause of death and determine if a nursing home facility or staff member is responsible for the death and resulting losses. Proving a wrongful death requires a great deal of evidence and documentation, so it is vital that surviving loved ones have a knowledgeable attorney, such as Lynn C. Harris, on their side to build their case.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Damages
When someone is a victim of wrongful death, they cannot take action on their own behalf. However, surviving loved ones have the right to hold liable parties accountable and pursue financial compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Potential damages in a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses accrued between the injury and death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
If you have lost a loved one to a nursing home death, and you suspect that it was the result of abuse or neglect, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation with wrongful death lawyer Lynn C. Harris. To get in touch with our legal team, send us a message online or call our Salt Lake City law firm at (801) 375-9801.