Wrongful Deaths In Nursing Homes: Hold Liable Parties Accountable
When people reach old age, taking care of day-to-day tasks and healthcare needs becomes increasingly difficult. Many family members cannot meet an elderly loved one's needs on their own, and must rely on a nursing home for professional care. Although nursing home staff are expected to provide high-quality care, many residents instead experience neglect or abuse.
When neglect or abuse causes the death of a nursing home resident, surviving loved ones should consider filing a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, can assist individuals in the Bellevue, WA, area in pursuing compensation for the preventable death of a loved one in a nursing home.
Causes of Preventable Nursing Home Deaths
Nursing home staff have a duty of care to their residents. If they breach that duty of care, and a nursing home resident dies as a result, that is defined as a wrongful death. It is important to have a nursing home death investigated by law enforcement and legal experts. They can determine if the death could have been prevented had the standard of care been met.
Preventable deaths in nursing homes are often the result of abuse or neglect. However, abuse and neglect can occur in several different forms, and are not always immediately obvious. Common causes of preventable nursing home deaths include:
- Intentional or negligent physical injuries
- Neglecting to meet basic healthcare needs
- Failure to prevent violence or abuse between nursing home residents
- Medication errors
- Missed or delayed diagnosis of illness or other medical conditions
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When someone dies due to another person’s actions, they do not have the chance to hold liable parties accountable for the damages they cause. However, the law allows descendants of the deceased to file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue compensation for their own losses, as well as the losses suffered by their loved one prior to their death.
In the state of Washington, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the personal representative, or executor, of the deceased’s estate. If an executor has not been named in a will, the court will appoint one. Any damages awarded in a wrongful death case benefit the deceased’s survivors, such as their spouse, domestic partner, or children.
Wrongful Death Damages
Our Bellevue clients may be due substantial compensation for losses associated with a preventable nursing home death.
Compensatory damages can cover the losses experienced by the deceased, from the moment of the negligent or harmful act, to the moment of their death. These types of damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Compensatory damages can also cover the losses experienced by the surviving family members after their loved one’s death. These types of damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and/or benefits
- Loss of consortium (love and companionship)
Punitive damages may also be awarded. Not related to material or financial losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for their actions that contributed to or caused a loved one’s death in a nursing home.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you suspect that your loved one has lost their life at the hands of abuse or neglect, the lawyers at Quick Law Group can determine if you have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. To learn more about the type of compensation you may be due, send us a message online, or call (425) 576-8150 to schedule a consultation at our Bellevue law firm.