When one of your close elderly loved ones dies at a nursing home and you believe negligent behavior is a factor, you and your family may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The reason for this is because you and your family placed your trust in the nursing home and were counting on the staff and employees who work there to provide the best care possible for your loved one.
However, they failed to do so. Unfortunately, elder abuse is very common in nursing homes, but this does not mean that you cannot hold them accountable for their negligent actions. They were required to provide a standard level of care for your family member, so they owe you compensation for your devastating loss.
Most common causes of nursing home wrongful deaths
Some older individuals pass away in nursing homes due to old age or natural causes, which is not considered to be a wrongful death. However, if your elderly family member passes away because of a nursing home employee’s careless mistakes or errors, the nursing home must be held accountable. Wrongful death is a type of civil action lawsuit that family members file against those “who knowingly or negligently cause the death of another person.”
If you decide to file a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that your elderly family member passed away because of wrongful death. Here are a few of the most common causes and scenarios of nursing home wrongful deaths:
- A staff member or employee injured or abused your family member.
- A staff member or employee neglected your family member.
- Another resident attacked or abused your family member, which the nursing home failed to prevent or stop from happening.
- A staff member gave the wrong type of medicine or dosage amount to your family member.
- Your family member became dehydrated or malnourished due to the nursing home’s neglect.
- Your family member developed an illness that was left untreated, which caused their death.
- Your family member experienced a very serious fall that caused severe injuries, which should have been prevented by the nursing home employees.
- Your family member suffered a stroke and was denied timely access to critical care, which was the nursing home’s fault.
If your elderly loved one passed away due to any of similar reasons mentioned in this list, there is a high likelihood that you have a viable wrongful death case against the nursing home.
Who is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home?
Depending on your relation to the elderly individual who died as a result of nursing home negligence, you may be wondering who is legally allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. According to Cornell Law School, all 50 states allow spouses and children to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation for their loved one’s death. However, some states across the country allow siblings, parents, and other family members to receive damages.
- Arizona: Arizona 12-612 states that a “surviving husband or wife, child, parent or guardian” can file a wrongful death claim.
- California: According to California 377.60, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the individual’s “surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children.” If the deceased individual does not have a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child, their parent can file a wrongful death claim.
- Kentucky: Kentucky 411.130 explains that a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought forth by a surviving wife, husband, children, mother, father, or adoptive parent.
- Louisiana: Louisiana’s law allows the following to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of their deceased loved one: surviving spouse, child, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, or grandmother.
What types of losses can I claim in a wrongful death lawsuit?
There are a variety of different losses that you can claim in a wrongful death lawsuit. It depends on how your loved one’s accident and death has negatively impacted you, your family, and your life. Some examples of the types of losses our clients frequently claim include:
- Surgery costs
- Hospital and doctor’s office expenses
- Prescription costs
- Medical device fees
- Lost income and benefits
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
In some states, such as California, you can claim your deceased loved one’s pain and suffering.
What evidence do I need for a wrongful death suit against a nursing home?
In order to successfully file a wrongful death suit, you will need to prove that your loved one’s death occurred because of negligent actions committed by a nursing home staff member or employee. Each state has their own requirements of proof.
However, most of the time, every state requires you to prove that the nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care, which was to keep them safe and harm-free during their time living at the nursing home. In addition, you will need to show proof that the nursing home failed to uphold this duty of care, which directly caused your loved one’s death. Here are a few pieces of evidence that your attorney will help collect for your wrongful death suit:
- Video footage
- Any emails, text messages, or other types of messages that you sent and communicated with the staff at the nursing home
- Medical records
- Eyewitness or expert witness statements
- Police or accident reports
- Documentation, paperwork, or bills
If you are ready to pursue legal action and file a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home, please get in touch with a nursing home wrongful death attorney from Garcia & Artigliere as soon as possible. We will handle your wrongful death claim and help you prove that your elderly family member died due to the abuse of a careless nursing home facility and its employees. This is something that no one should ever have to go through, and we know that no amount of compensation will ever be able to bring back or replace your deceased loved one. However, our team believes in holding negligent parties accountable for their actions and ensuring that this does not continue to happen to others. Call the office of Garcia & Artigliere or complete our contact form today to learn how we will stand up and fight against the nursing home that caused you grief and pain. We offer free consultations at our offices in Los Angeles, Louisville, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Long Beach.
Stephen M. Garcia represents victims of elder and nursing home abuse and is known as one of the leading civil litigators in the country. He is Senior Partner at Garcia & Artigliere, where the firm’s practice is focused on elder abuse, nursing home abuse, and wrongful death of the elderly.
Find out more about Stephen M. Garcia