42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §483.12 and Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §14:403.2 give nursing home residents the right to be free from abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, we know that this does not always happen. We also know that abuse and neglect sometimes go undiscovered, as nursing home residents cannot always speak up for themselves. When residents pass away, we tend to assume they died of natural causes.
Perhaps so. But if your loved one was the victim of abuse or neglect, that may have contributed to their death. They could have died as a result of inadequate medical care. Trust your instincts. A Louisiana death lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you pursue justice for your loved one.
Contact us today at (800) 842-6336 for your free case evaluation and consultation.
How a Wrongful Death Occurs
Several circumstances could lead to wrongful death in a nursing home. These include:
An abusive staff member or fellow resident could injure your loved one in a manner that leads to death.
According to US 42 CFR §483.25, facilities must keep environments clean and safe for residents. Your family member could have slipped and fell in a puddle that was not cleaned up, and passed away from their injuries.
If left untreated, pressure ulcers can become infected, which can ultimately lead to sepsis.
Dehydration or Malnutrition
Residents who do not receive enough food or water will suffer physical harm that may lead to death.
Nursing home staff might either prescribe the wrong medication or give your loved one a different medication or dose than what was prescribed, leading to their death.
Nursing homes are required to attend to their residents’ health needs. If a nursing home fails in that duty, it has committed medical malpractice.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §2315 says that a person who negligently harms another is financially liable for the victim’s losses. This includes wrongful death. However, because deaths are common in nursing homes—mostly because residents tend to be elderly and have chronic conditions that could ultimately prove fatal—proving that a death was the nursing home’s fault is not always easy.
To win in court, you must show that the death stemmed from the nursing home’s negligence and that the death affected your family. State statutes offer two ways to pursue a case.
You Might Be Able to Pursue a Survival Action
CC §2315.1 enables people to file a survival action. These kinds of cases are brought on behalf of a person who was injured by someone else’s abuse or negligence but has since passed away. This lawsuit is not intended to recover a financial award on behalf of the family, but to recover the award that would have been owed to the deceased had they lived and brought the legal action.
Suppose your elderly mother suffered a painful fall due to the nursing home’s failure to keep the environment free of accident hazards. She might have had a legal case related to that fall. However, if she dies without filing it, her heirs can file one on her behalf. The law sets the statute of limitations for this kind of case at one year after the person’s death.
You Might Be Able to File a Wrongful Death Action
CC §2315.2 allows for a more straightforward wrongful death action. A lawsuit may be brought by the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, or grandparents after a death due to negligence. As with survival actions, wrongful death cases must be filed within one year of the decedent’s passing.
Because of the time restrictions, it is imperative to speak with a Louisiana death lawyer as soon as possible if you have suspicions about your loved one’s death.
What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death & Arbitration
In 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) partially reversed a 2016 rule that forbade nursing homes from using pre-dispute, binding arbitration agreements. While the new CMS rule allows pre-dispute arbitration, it does not permit nursing homes to force residents to sign them as a condition of entry or to receive services.
However, even if your loved one signed such an agreement, it might not affect a wrongful death case. Often, the agreement was between the resident and the nursing home. Such an agreement would not bind the plaintiffs in a wrongful death action.
For a free legal consultation with a Death Lawyer serving Louisiana, call (800) 794-0444
Potential Compensation You Could Recover in a Legal Case
Most often, Louisiana does not limit the amount you may receive in economic or non-economic compensatory damages. As a plaintiff, you could pursue compensation for economic costs such as funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses incurred just before your loved one died (such as at a hospital), emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
Louisiana Death Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How We Can Help Your Family
A Louisiana death lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will work to help you get a fair outcome for your case. We will investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death, look at medical records and inspection reports, and speak to potential witnesses.
If evidence that your loved one died due to the nursing home’s negligence exists, we will find it. Once we have it, we will not rest until we get justice for you.
We will perform the following actions for you:
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Searching for evidence of your claim
- Valuating your losses
- Explaining your options
- Protecting your family’s legal rights
- Bringing the liable parties to justice
Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means we do not get paid until we recover a financial award on your behalf. Obtain your free consultation today by calling (800) 842-6336.