When a family is notified after a nursing home death, relatives are often saddened but not surprised. The death of a family member who had been placed in long-term care does not usually come as a shock, especially if he or she was in ill health. Unfortunately, many nursing homes will offer little or no explanation of why a loved one died—and since family members rarely ask, they may never discover that the facility was liable for the death.
Nursing homes may be liable for the wrongful death of a resident in many ways, including:
- Neglect. Neglect occurs when the staff of a nursing home withholds food, health care, medication, or attention from a resident in a long-term care facility. Facilities that do not visit their residents’ rooms frequently may be found liable for the death of a resident who has choked on medication or food, or suffered an attack by another resident because he or she was not properly protected. Some homes may overmedicate residents in order to make them more docile, leading to neglect that causes malnutrition or dehydration and eventual death.
- Abuse. Nursing home abuse is a deliberate action on the part of the facility or staff to control the resident. This can be through physical pain, emotional trauma, or sexual abuse. Physical injuries (such as internal bleeding or organ damage) may not be readily seen on a resident, but these conditions can quickly cause declining health and become fatal. Threats and psychological abuse will often cause depression and anxiety that can have physical effects, such as heart attacks and strokes.
- Unsafe environment. Although most long-term care facilities are required to comply with state and federal regulations, many fail safety inspections and have cheap or unsanitary living conditions. In addition, many nursing homes are understaffed—and without timely intervention, serious infections or fall injuries may be even more likely to be fatal.
We Can Tell You Who Is to Blame for Your Loved One’s Death
Many people do not recognize the signs of nursing home abuse during the resident’s life, and do not know how to determine whether he or she was mistreated. Our wrongful death attorneys can find the true cause of your loved one’s death—and you will pay no attorney fees unless we win your case. Call Wayne Wright LLP today at 800-237-3334 to get started.