What to do if Nursing Home Negligence Causes a Death
Nursing homes house some of our most vulnerable residents, and though we don’t like to think about the possibility of it happening, deaths can and do occur as a result of negligence and abuse. Death can occur in nursing homes for any number of reasons. For example, the failure of staff to properly check on patients regularly and move them as needed can lead to bedsores. If not properly treated, these can become infected, making them a life-threatening emergency. Other problems can include the failure of nursing home staff to properly sanitize patients’ rooms, eating areas, or linens, which can also lead to infections and other serious issues.
Many people who discover their loved ones have been subjected to these kinds of conditions may not know what they should do or the steps they should take to get compensation for their loved ones. These situations only become more complicated when cases of negligence result in the death of an individual. This is why it is often best to contact a NY bedsore lawyer in Suffolk County or your area to discuss the steps you need to take. However, having a basic understanding of the process you may be faced with can be a good starting point if you find yourself in this situation.
What Kinds of Negligence Can Lead to Death?
As already mentioned, even what may seem to be a seemingly minor problem, such as bedsores, can be an incredibly serious complication and one that can lead to death in a nursing home setting. Elderly individuals do not have the ability to care for themselves and rely on nursing home staff for all their daily needs. Because of this, when these needs are not met, significant complications can arise. For example, if an elderly individual’s nutritional needs are not met, they can experience numerous issues from weight loss to skin problems, bedsores, and infections. Meanwhile, a lack of proper hygiene can increase the potential of an infection, which can also lead to major illness and death.
It can sometimes be a challenge for loved ones to identify the cause of their loved one’s death as arising from negligence. This is why it is important to note any changes that have occurred in your loved one’s health prior to their death, which could potentially be attributed to neglect. For example, if you noted any bedsores on their body, this could potentially be a sign they were being neglected. Even if they did not communicate this to you, it is a clear indicator you should contact a bedsore attorney to discuss your loved one’s death and whether you may have a case.
Proving the Nursing Home is at Fault
Individuals will find themselves faced with many difficulties when a loved one passes away due to negligence or abuse in a nursing home. This is an emotionally turbulent time, and those left behind will often be confused about the road ahead and what needs to be done. Among the most difficult things to deal with is understanding why the nursing home is not held accountable for the death of an individual right away, even if it may seem immediately apparent they and their staff were responsible for what occurred through their negligence. This is part of what makes contacting a bedsore attorney and building a case such a vital task.
A bedsore attorney has the knowledge and the resources to help prove the nursing home was negligent and at fault for what occurred. With their expertise, they will be able to use medical records, witness testimony, and other accounts to help the loved ones of the individual who passed away prove beyond a doubt that a staff member’s action or inaction led to their death.
It is important to note here that even if abuse or neglect occurred and an individual passed away, there can still be some challenges if the abuse or neglect cannot be definitely linked to the individual’s death. This is why working with a bedsore attorney who specializes in these matters is vital, as they have the ability to build a proper case and seek appropriate action where it is merited.
What Kind of Compensation is Available?
When an individual in a nursing home passes away, their loved ones may choose to take legal action to recover the losses they have incurred as a result. Most commonly, these losses include the costs associated with paying for medical treatments for the individual. Many people may spend time hospitalized prior to passing away, especially if they have infections due to bedsores or if they are suffering from malnutrition. However, an individual may also contact a bedsore attorney in Manhattan or surrounding areas to build a case to help pay for funeral expenses for their loved one.
On top of this, many individuals may suffer from emotional damages from dealing with the aftermath of the death of a loved one due to neglect or have to spend time away from work caring for their loved one in the hospital or hospice care, especially if the individual’s suffering is prolonged prior to their death. While the individual in nursing care may not have been working themselves, working with a bedsore attorney can still allow you to get money for lost wages and damages due to what has occurred.
Though it is unfortunate that it occurs, death due to neglect is common in nursing home settings. However, by holding nursing homes accountable when these cases do arise, we can hope to reduce the number of these cases and ensure that our elderly loved ones are receiving the best level of care possible.
If you have any questions or believe you may have a case, contact us today. Our team at Sinel & Oleson, PLLC is ready to speak with you about any concerns you may have.