A nursing home is where families take their older loved ones to live out the last chapter of their lives with around-the-clock care. It’s normal for a nursing home to lose a few of its residents each year, especially if there was a COVID outbreak.
However, personal injury attorneys can tell you stories of nursing home residents who pass away as the result of neglect or outright abuse on the part of the nursing home staff. Any nursing home abuse lawyer will tell you that you can’t blindly trust staff, even if you’ve thoroughly researched your parent or grandparent’s new nursing home.
Many cases of elder abuse and neglect happen when the senior has just been introduced to a new facility, and seniors who suffer from severe cognitive or physical decline are more likely to fall victim to this kind of mistreatment.
Most Common Causes of Death in Nursing Home Residents
Far too often, these facilities that the public trusts to take care of older adults fail in this mission. Nursing homes often hire too few staff members to handle the number of residents they have, leading to neglect. Other times, nursing homes fail to do background checks on employees and hire those without proper training or with past violent behavior.
Some of the most common factors that lead to the premature death of nursing home residents include:
- Ignoring residents who have serious health complications or pain
- Errors in dosage of medication
- Neglecting residents’ hygiene and nutritional needs
- Physically abuse to residents
- Slip and fall due to negligent supervision
Sepsis is also a serious issue in nursing homes, leading to 380,000 deaths each year. Sepsis occurs when the immune system releases chemicals to fight an infection, and instead of getting better, the body goes into shock. This is especially common for those fighting bedsores, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections, all of which are common in nursing homes.
Suing a Nursing Home
Any elder abuse lawyer in Sherman Oaks or another city will tell you that nursing homes need to be held accountable. If they fail in their duty to provide residents with a safe living environment and proper care, staff members, owners, and other employees can be held liable for a wrongful death.
If you feel that your loved one was treated with negligence or abuse in the days and weeks leading up to their passing, you should contact a lawyer for nursing home abuse. They will help you investigate your claim as well as argue for justice in court.
Something an attorney will tell you to do is to contact Adult Protective Services, who can often get involved and stop abuse before someone loses their life. If it’s already too late, APS may be able to give you documentation of prior claims of abuse against the nursing home or staff members.
Even if there aren’t past claims of abuse, you can still work to prove that they caused the death of your loved one. For example, you should obtain a report on the state of your loved one’s body at the time of death. You can cross-reference this report with their medical records, checking for any inconsistencies.
Your Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney will also tell you that witness testimony is invaluable to your claim. Other residents may have seen abuse or neglect or have even experienced it themselves. Your loved one may have also confided in someone about the mistreatment they were receiving at the hands of the nursing home.
A nursing home abuse attorney will help you establish the degree of harm so that you can file a successful lawsuit against the residence.
Statute of Limitations
There is a time limit to when you can file your lawsuit. This varies from state to state, but wrongful death claims in California must be filed within two years of the date of death or the discovery that the death was at the hands of another.
Contacting an Attorney
Our Sherman Oaks personal injury law firm helps get justice for our clients who have suffered a loss as the result of an accident or intentional act. Whether it’s a bike crash or a DUI accident, our attorneys can help file a lawsuit for financial compensation.
While a financial settlement will not take away the grief and loss you feel, this money can be used for therapy and to ensure that descendants are taken care of. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t pay unless we win! We also offer free consultations where we tell you if you have a strong case.