You might visit this website because your loved one faced neglect or abuse at a nursing home. Or, you might be in an entirely different situation. You might be trying to come to terms with the death of a loved one in a nursing home. Not all nursing home deaths are the result of neglect, abuse, or negligence. But, in some situations, this might be the case. If you suspect that your loved one’s death resulted from nursing home negligence, you might want to pursue the situation. You can try to find your deceased loved one the justice that they deserve. You can do this by proving wrongful death. Also, you can file a wrongful death claim against the at fault party.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death happens when a person dies because of the negligent or careless actions of another person. In some cases, wrongful death is the result of an accident, such as a medical error or medication error. In other cases, wrongful death can result from an action meant to harm the victim, such as neglect or abuse. As a surviving family member of a loved one who gets killed, you have the right to sue the at fault party for wrongful death. If you feel that wrongful death occurred, you will have to prove it in a court of law. You must do this to recover damages for the death of your loved one.
Criminal Case vs. Civil Case
Often, a wrongful death lawsuit will follow a criminal investigation. The at fault person is criminally investigated for neglect, abuse, and murder. The outcome of the criminal case will not have an impact on your wrongful death lawsuit. In other words, if the at fault party is found innocent of criminal charges, this does not meant they will automatically be found innocent in the civil case too. If there is evidence to support negligence, a wrongful death case can still be won. This can happen regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial. This is because the elements of finding someone guilty of wrongful death differ from the elements of finding someone guilty of a crime.
Elements of Wrongful Death
To prove this type of death, you must establish the following factors in court:
- That the death of your relative occurred.
- That your loved one’s death directly resulted from someone else’s negligence. The at fault party may have intended to harm your loved one by abusing them. Or they may have done something careless that resulted in your loved one’s death. In either situation, the at fault party is guilty of wrongful death.
- That you and your family suffered financially as a result 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 loved one’s estate.
If these factors can be proven in court, a judge will most likely agree that this type of death occurred. The at fault party will be responsible for paying compensation to the surviving family members.
Common Situations that Lead to Wrongful Death
In a nursing home, these are a few common examples of situations that could arise that would lead to wrongful death:
- Medical or medication error.
- Inappropriate care.
- Untrained staff members.
- Staff members not being able to focus due to long shifts.
- Poor communication among staff members.
- Improper facilities for the elderly.
If you suspect that your loved one’s death was the fault of a nursing home, seek the help of a lawyer as soon as possible. By filing a claim, you can protect your family. You can also protect other nursing home residents by preventing future issues. Please continue on to the next section to learn about compensation.