Wrongful Death In Nursing Homes
Well over half of our firm’s nursing home abuse and neglect cases are wrongful death cases, due to the fact that so few of the victims of poor care in nursing homes survive.
The basis of every wrongful death case is negligent or wrongful conduct that resulted in the death of another person
This is why it is a “wrongful” death case. Most cases are based on negligence, which is defined legally as the failure to exercises ordinary care for the safety of others. Failing to provide proper care to residents of a nursing home may be the basis of a wrongful death case. Before you are entitled to recover money in a wrongful death case, you have to be able to show that someone was legally to blame for the accident or incident, which resulted in the death of your loved one. Proving a cause-and-effect relationship and the liability of the responsible party without the help of an experienced, successful nursing home negligence attorney can be extremely difficult, primarily due to the unique characteristics and complex nature of nursing home wrongful death claims.
Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases Are Different Than Other Wrongful Death Cases
In other words, nursing home abuse and neglect cases are a narrow and focused area of personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Unlike medical malpractice cases, there is a strong regulatory framework for nursing homes, which provides a framework for the care that must be provided to nursing home resident. A lawyer handling a nursing home wrongful death case must be familiar with these regulations in order to hold the nursing home accountable for poor care.Nursing home negligence victims often have complex, long-standing medical conditions that must be taken into account in prosecuting the case. One well-known nursing home defense lawyer says that he and other defense attorneys do not try the case based on the care (it’s often indefensible), but against the pre-existing medical conditions of the nursing home resident. In short, they defend the cases based on the fact that the victim was “old and sick.” However when the resident was admitted to the nursing home, he or she was already “old and sick”—that was the reason the resident went into the nursing home to begin with.
When the nursing home promised you that they could take care of your family member, they knew your loved one needs help and medical care. It means that they had to try harder, not give up.
Lawyers prosecuting nursing home cases of wrongful death must be ready to address the complex medical issues affecting nursing home resident.Unlike virtually all personal injury cases, most nursing home cases do not involve something that happens in one particular moment in time. In a car accident, a moment of inattention can result in a rear-end accident. However, most serious nursing home injuries take place because of substandard care, which occurs over a matter of days, if not weeks or months. Bedsores do not happen overnight—it takes a long period of substandard care for them to reach Stage III or Stage IV. Even falls are often the result of poor care over a period of months—poor monitoring of the resident leading to a poor care plan, which was not implemented. Skilled nursing home attorneys know how to review the chart to identify the missed opportunities to prevent the horrible outcome that came from the business decisions made by nursing home management.
WRONGFUL DEATH CASE EXAMPLE: In one case we handled, the medical issue that caused my client’s mother to be admitted to the nursing home was rheumatoid arthritis. Her husband came to the nursing home to feed her every day, but after he died suddenly from a massive stroke, she began to lose weight very rapidly. She developed a bedsore, which became infected and caused her death. After reviewing the records and her care plan, we noticed that she was never provided with adaptive silverware with large grips she could handle. With her husband no longer feeding her, and her begin unable to handle the utensils herself, she began to lose weight, which ultimately led to the development of the bed sore that caused her death. The root cause of her death was a poor assessment and care plane done months before, which was never re-evaluated after her husband was no longer available to feed her. Click here to view the settlement.
After tragic cases of nursing home negligence like this, the indescribable grief of family members is often accompanied by a number of questions.
Common Questions About Nursing Home Wrongful Death
- Who can file a wrongful death suit in the state of Illinois?
- Who will receive the money that will be paid as part of a settlement or judgment in a wrongful death lawsuit?
- Who is the “next of kin?”
- What are common types of nursing home abuse that result in wrongful death?
If you feel that your loved one is or has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, file an Illinois nursing home complaint here.