Up to 98,000 patients are killed each year due to medical errors and medical malpractice.
In nursing homes, wrongful death is often related to an act of misconduct or a failure to provide adequate care. A single person, or a nursing home facility, may be held liable for the death.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil claims, usually filed by spouses, parents, children or other relatives seeking to compensation for emotional or financial damages. There are a number of causes and specifics related to a wrongful death case, with negligence and medical malpractice at the forefront.
What is wrongful death?
A wrongful death has occurred when a loved one is lost due to negligence, recklessness, misconduct or wrongdoing. Wrongful deaths in nursing homes could have been avoided if the facility or caregiver followed state and federal regulations.
Surviving family members are able to seek damages for wrongful death. Generally, there are four elements to a wrongful death case, including:
Negligence – Proof that the death of their loved one was caused by the negligent, careless or reckless actions of a person and/or entity.
Breach of Duty – Proof that the person and/or entity owed a duty to the deceased victim to provide adequate, safe healthcare.
Causation – Proof the negligence and breach of duty led to a person’s wrongful death.
Damages– Proof of damages permitted under state law, such as pain and suffering, additional medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential earnings, and loss of protection, guidance and inheritance.
What are the causes of wrongful death?
There are multiple causes of wrongful death, and sometimes they occur in combination with other disabilities or chronic illnesses. When a nursing home fails to properly care for their residents, it can result in death.
Oftentimes, wrongful death occurs when a nursing home has been negligent in their care of an elderly person. In certain cases, wrongful death may be a result of intentional physical abuse.
Who may be affected by wrongful death?
Each situation of wrongful death is entirely unique and based on specific circumstances, evidence and causes of action. In general, anyone who had a financial or emotional interest in a loved one may be affected by wrongful death.
The individuals who are permitted to bring a wrongful death claim vary by state-to-state. Those who may be able to sue for wrongful death, include:
Immediate Family – Spouses, children, and parents of an unmarried child.
Life Partners, Putative Spouses and Financial Dependents -Life partners, putative spouses based on good faith marriages, and other financial dependents.
Distant Family Members – Brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins and other relatives.
Financial Sufferers -Anyone who has suffered financially.
Legal Guardians -Anyone who has has power of attorney or is considered a legal guardian.
Questions about a potential legal case?
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