Many people might visit this site for assistance choosing a nursing home or to learn how to deal with neglect and abuse. But, other people might be searching for answers and help because your loved one has died in a nursing home. Unfortunately, death in nursing home does occur, and it isn’t always a result of an issue. Many people in homes are old or have terminal illnesses, that can lead to death. In some cases, employees are not responsible for death or other issues. But, in some situations, wrongful death may occur. In wrongful death, a nursing home employee may be responsible for your loved one’s death. If you suspect wrongful death, learn more about it and how you can seek justice on behalf of your elderly loved one.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is negligence or carelessness of one person that results in the death of another person. This issue could be the result of an accident. For example, medication errors and medical errors can lead to wrongful death. In other situations, this issue could happen if a nursing home employee wanted to harm or even kill your loved one.
If you are a surviving family member of someone who died of unnatural causes, you have the right to sue the at fault party. Of course nothing will bring your loved one back, but your family may be able to find peace by bringing the responsible party to justice.
If you think that your family member’s death was not natural, you must prove it in court. Proving wrongful death can result in compensation for your family.
Criminal Case vs. Civil Case
Wrongful death lawsuits also happen in conjunction with criminal investigations. This is because the police need to determine if the death was an accident or if it was a result of purposeful harm to the victim. As I mentioned above, either might be the case when wrongful death is concerned.
The person at fault for your loved one’s death will be criminally investigated to determine if what happened was an accident or if it was purposeful. If it is determined that your loved one’s death was not an accident, the at fault party can be criminally prosecuted. This can provide justice for your loved one and your family. However, the outcome of the criminal case will not impact a personal injury claim, if your family decides to make one.
So, if the at fault party is innocent of criminal charges, this does not necessarily mean that they are also innocent of wrongful death. A person can escape prosecution in criminal court, but still have to pay compensation because of their negligence. So if there is evidence to support negligence, a wrongful death case can still be won.
Elements of Wrongful Death
This issue must be proven in court if your family is going to receive compensation. Your family or attorney will have to prove:
- That your relative indeed died.
- That your loved one’s death was a direct result of someone else’s negligence. Whether the at fault party intended to harm your loved one or not, their carelessness resulted in wrongful death.
- That your family suffered financially because of your loved one’s death. This means that you must be dependent on the deceased in some way.
- That someone has been appointed as a representative for your deceased relative’s estate.
If these factors can be proven in court, a judge will most likely agree that wrongful death happened. As a result, the at fault party will be responsible for paying compensation to your family.
Common Situations that Lead to Wrongful Death
In a nursing home, these a few common situations might cause wrongful death. They include:
- Improper facilities for the elderly.
- Medical or medication error.
- Staff members not being able to focus due to long shifts.
- Inappropriate care.
- Untrained staff members.
- Poor communication among staff members.
If you think that your loved one was the victim of wrongful death, you can contact me for assistance. I am happy to go over your loved one’s situation with you to determine what happened and the best way to proceed.