Top 10 Causes of Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

What are the top causes of wrongful death in nursing homes? We'll cover everything on the subject in this post. Click here to learn more!
Woman with long brown hair comforting an older man in a beige sweater at a table

There are now over 1.3 million seniors living in nursing homes within the US. Not every senior receives the proper care they deserve, though. In fact, wrongful death nursing home lawsuits are becoming more common lately.

Did you recently lose a loved one who was living in a nursing home? You might have a wrongful death case on your hands. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive the compensation you deserve.

What can cause wrongful death lawsuits in nursing homes? What are the types of wrongful death cases you can pursue? Keep reading to find out.

In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know before filing your wrongful death settlement. 

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death nursing home cases develop when someone is killed by another party’s negligence or abuse.

For example, a nursing home caregiver may have provided inadequate care. Their negligence could have caused you to lose your loved one. 

When your loved one enters a nursing home, they expect to receive a certain level of care. Some nursing homes are understaffed, though. An untrained team could unintentionally abuse or neglect your loved one. 

These issues can lead to serious consequences, including death. 

It’s difficult enough to lose a loved one. Finding out they were neglected or abused can make your grief even more difficult to process. 

By pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, you can receive compensation. You can bring the nursing home to justice and find peace. At the same time, you can ensure similar situations don’t occur to other nursing home residents. 

Causes of Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

What can cause wrongful death cases in nursing homes? Here are some types of nursing home injuries that may happen in nursing homes:

  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Untreated illnesses (including COVID-19)
  • Assault or other forms of abuse
  • Complications from bedsores
  • Failure to provide basic care
  • Medication errors or overdose
  • Falls or other accidents

Over time, nursing home abuse or neglect can lead to wrongful death. Some common causes of wrongful deaths include:

  • General negligence
  • Improper staff training
  • Lack of staff supervision
  • Insufficient staff
  • Improper nursing home practices
  • No support from medical experts
  • A misdiagnosis
  • Poor treatment by medical staff members
  • Physical abuse or assault

Understanding the causes of wrongful death in nursing home neglect or abuse cases can help you protect your loved one before it’s too late. 

1. Insufficient Staff

What’s the ratio between staff members and residents at your loved one’s nursing home? If there aren’t enough staff members, your loved one might not receive proper attention.

Someone might not realize your loved one needs help until it’s too late.

Nursing homes are required to hire as many staff members as necessary to take care of their residents. If the nursing home has insufficient staff, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

2. Neglect

What can primarily cause wrongful death causes? Too often, the main issue is neglect. 

Your loved one deserves a specific duty of care. If they don’t receive the attention they deserve, it could cause an accident or wrongful death. 

For example, a caretaker might neglect to help your loved one out of bed. They could develop bedsores. Bedsores can lead to other complications such as sepsis.

A caretaker might neglect to help your loved one use the restroom or bathe. They might not receive food or water, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. They could neglect to give your loved one their medication, too.

If your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect, contact a wrongful death attorney right away. 

3. Untrained Staff

If a staff member isn’t trained properly, they’ll fail to give your loved one proper care. The staff member could mishandle your loved one. Their lack of training could cause other problems that lead to your loved one’s death. 

4. Medication Errors

If someone gives your loved one the wrong medication, it could impact their health. It’s the nursing home’s responsibility to properly administer prescribed medications. They also have to provide the proper dosage.

If your loved one reaches the wrong medication or dosage, they could die.

5. Lack of Accident Prevention

Is the nursing home safe? It’s possible improper actions, precautions, and protocols could cause an accident. Lack of accident prevention is a form of negligence.

For example, maybe someone didn’t use the proper signage to prevent a slip and fall. 

6. Sexual Abuse

While it’s difficult to think of elderly sexual abuse, it does happen. Some staff members take advantage that seniors are too weak to fight for themselves. 

Sexual abuse can include touching, violating, and groping. 

7. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is common, too. For example, a staff member might grab your loved one too hard. They could use too much force, slap, punch, pinch, or hurt your loved one. 

8. Willful Deprivation

Is someone refusing to provide your loved one with proper care? They could neglect to provide meals, water, food, or medication. Depriving your loved one can impact their health and well-being.

9. Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse can impact your loved one’s well-being, too. For example, someone might shame, torment, or humiliate your loved one. Taunting, yelling, and criticizing are forms of abuse, too. 

10. Resident Abuse

Another resident at the facility could hurt your loved one. It’s the nursing home staff’s responsibility to fix these issues immediately. 

How Can Attorney Help?

There are currently over 135,000 personal injury lawyers in the country. If you have a wrongful death case on your hands, it’s important to find the right lawyer. Look for an attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases. 

A wrongful death attorney will have the experience and expertise you need. 

They can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for:

  • Mental anguish
  • Medical expenses prior to death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Cost of cremation or burial
  • Pain and suffering

Talk to your wrongful death attorney about filing your wrongful death lawsuit. They’ll help you build a case to receive the compensation you deserve. 

Wrongful Death Nursing Home Lawsuits: Your Guide to Making a Case

Filing a wrongful death nursing home lawsuit can feel stressful, especially on top of your grief. With an experienced wrongful death lawyer at your side, you don’t have to worry. They’ll help you fight for what’s right.

Want to discuss your wrongful death case? We’re here to help.

Book a free consultation with our team today. 

Related

4 Ways a Great Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help

9 Common Types of Nursing Home Injuries

What Is Nursing Home Abuse

What Are Some Examples of Negligence

What are the Red Flags of a Bad Nursing Home?

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