In 2014, Czersale Hilton filed a lawsuit against Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre West in Inglewood after her mother’s premature death. She claims her mother lost her life due to the poor quality care she received at the nursing home. Czersale filed claiming elder abuse and negligence.
Several cases, similar to that of Czersale’s are reported all over the nation. In fact, recent statistics revealed that almost 30 percent of the nursing homes in America received an abuse citation and many nursing home abuses have led to death.
- 20 percent of all deaths among 65 years and older age group due to slip and fall accidents occur in nursing homes, which means about 1800 people die per year
- Approximately 5000 death certificates of nursing home patients cited malnutrition, starvation, dehydration, or bed sores as the cause of death
- About one to two million Americans above the age of 65 have been neglected, mistreated or abused by their primary caregiver
When Should You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit against a Nursing Home
About 25 percent of deaths happen in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities each year according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and many of them result due to patient neglect and abuse. Wrongful deaths refer to a situation when a person dies due to the actions or neglect of another person. Nursing home wrongful death suits deals with situations when a person dies due to the actions or negligence of the nursing home.
The most common reasons of death in nursing home include:
- Falls (more than 1,800 people die from falling in nursing home every year, reports National Institutes of Health (NIH))
- Malnutrition and dehydration (more than one-third of the 1.6 million nursing home patients suffer from dehydration and malnutrition according to Commonwealth Fund)
- Assault and physical abuse
- Medical malpractice
The regulations that govern wrongful deaths in nursing homes vary from state to state. Every state has its own form of wrongful death statute to help family members demand compensations for losses they suffered and the untimely death of their loved ones. According to the regulations, the immediate family members, life partners, putative spouses, financial dependents, or anyone who suffers financially can file a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.
But it can be very difficult to prove that the nursing home was indeed at fault and the patient died due to negligence. You should therefore hire a seasoned lawyer to represent you in the court. For instance, the administrator of a deceased woman’s estate filed a wrongful death suit against Belhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center LLC and Infinity Healthcare Management of Illinois LLC claiming they failed to provide proper care to Rosie McGhee (the deceased). Sandra Garner, the plaintiff filed the case with help of a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer and seeks $50,000 in compensation.
Why Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Getting legal assistance is very important when you decide to file a lawsuit; this is even more crucial if you are filing a nursing home lawsuit. Nursing home lawsuits are extremely complicated since they involve federal and state regulations and require specific medical knowledge.
Legal actions against wrongful deaths should be taken immediately, to ensure you get maximum compensation. In order to make sure your lawsuit does not get dismissed, a lot of things need to be taken care of. An experienced lawyer will exactly know what to do to ensure success.
- Wrongful Death or Natural Death
It is often difficult to differentiate between a natural death and a wrongful death, especially if it involves an elderly person. The nursing home or the medical team also does not provide an explanation regarding the reasons for death. This is the reason why oftentimes the family members never discover that the loved one died due to negligence. An experienced lawyer will be able to identify the loopholes and collect evidence that will prove the negligence on part of the nursing home that led to the death.
- Unsafe Environment
The nursing homes and long-time care facilities are required to follow the state and federal regulations, but oftentimes they fail to do so and keep the patients under unsafe conditions. Moreover, many nursing do not have enough staffs which means, they cannot attend the patients in a timely manner which may lead to worsening of infections, bedsores, etc. An experienced lawyer would be able to identify the negligent attitude of the nursing and use it against them.
- Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is another common reason for wrongful nursing home deaths. Whether the medical team failed to identify issues with the patient or they administered the wrong medicine/dosage, everything counts under medical malpractice. If your loved one lost his/her life due to medical malpractice, you need to take immediate legal actions.
We admit our loved ones to nursing homes thinking that they will be provided with the best medical facility that money can buy. However, this is not always the case. Thousands of people die because of negligence of the nursing home. It is therefore necessary that these hospitals pay for their negligence. But to prove that you need to first understand what led to the death of your loved ones and whether it was a case of premature death. Consult a lawyer and determine if your case qualifies for a wrongful nursing home case.