Placing a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision, but we do so with the expectation that our family member will be cared for in a caring, competent, and professional way. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and our frail and vulnerable loved ones are subjected to abuse and neglect by the home and its staff. In extreme cases, this treatment can lead to a tragic death.
While there is no way to replace your loved one, if the death occurred as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, family members of the deceased may be entitled to compensation through a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. In some situations, the party responsible for the death may be held criminally liable for causing the death as well.
If your loved has died in a nursing home due to abuse or neglect, a Tucson death lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. We will investigate how and why the death occurred, stop the abusive situation in the home from continuing, and fight to obtain punishment for the guilty parties and the compensation you are entitled to. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case, so call us today to see how we can help. There are no attorney fees until we win a settlement for you.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Nursing facilities are required by both federal and Arizona laws to provide responsible care to protect their residents from harm. If the home or its staff was negligent and your loved one was neglected or abused and died as a result, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the home and its staff.
According to A.R.S. § 12-611, you can file a wrongful death case if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury case based on the wrongful or negligent conduct that caused the death. Since your loved one cannot bring the case, family members or the deceased person’s estate may file the lawsuit on that person’s behalf.
You may file a wrongful death case if you are the:
- Surviving spouse, child, parent, or guardian of the deceased person
- Personal representative of a deceased spouse, child, parent, or guardian
- Personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
Compensation You May Win
In a successful Arizona wrongful death claim, our attorneys can help you win money damages to compensate for your losses and expenses. There are two types of damages:
1. Damages to the estate: These are damages to the deceased person’s estate, and therefore typically paid to the estate. They include payment for:
- Medical bills for care related to the final treatment of your loved one
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before death
2. Damages to family members: This is compensation for losses to family members due to the death, and is typically paid to the family members directly. Damages may include payment for:
- Loss of companionship and guidance from your loved one
- Pain and suffering due to the death
When damages are awarded to family members, they decide how to divide the total damages awarded among themselves. If they cannot agree, the court will decide.
For a free legal consultation with an death lawyer serving Tucson, call (800) 794-0444
To win your case, our attorneys would have to show evidence that the home and its staff were negligent, allowed an abusive or neglectful situation to continue, and that this led to the death of your loved one. This involves proving the following factors:
- The nursing home had a duty to provide competent care to your loved one
- The nursing home breached or failed to uphold its duty of care
- Your loved one died as a result of this breach of care
We do this by investigating the case, interviewing witnesses, examining your loved one’s medical records, looking for any past history of violations, abuse, or death that occurred, and checking staff employment practices and training procedures. We would look for signs of abuse and neglect existing in the home, such as:
- A history of injuries requiring hospital or emergency room care
- Residents suffering from bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Residents showing unexplained bruises, broken bones, or infections
- Residents suffering from dehydration or weight loss
- Residents who are overmedicated or restrained
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Inadequate staff that is overworked
Do not let evidence get away. Call a Tucson death lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get started.
Tucson Death Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Laws and Requirements for Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are regulated by federal and state law. Homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid are required to comply with the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), which sets the federal quality standards for care of residents that nursing homes must provide. The act established requirements for nursing homes and a bill of rights for residents.
In Arizona, A.R.S. § 46-454 states that nursing homes and staff have a duty to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults to adult protective services, and a duty to make medical records available.
A.R.S. § 13-3623 makes abuse of a vulnerable adult a criminal offense. A.R.S. § 46-451 defines abuse as “the intentional infliction of physical harm, an injury caused by negligent acts or omissions, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse, or sexual assault.” Neglect is defined as “the deprivation of food, water, medication, medical services, shelter, supervision, cooling, heating or other services necessary to maintain a vulnerable adult’s minimum physical or mental health.”
When filing a negligence claim, you should be aware of the following Arizona laws:
- Wrongful death – Under A.R.S. § 12-612, surviving family members or personal representatives of the deceased person can bring a lawsuit on behalf of the surviving husband or wife, children or parents, or the estate.
- Damage caps – Under the state constitution, § 31, there is no limit on the amount of damages you may be awarded for wrongful death.
- Statute of limitations – Under A.R.S. § 12-542, Arizona has a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit of two years after the person has died. It is important to contact our lawyers as soon as possible to allow plenty of time to investigate the case and file before this statute of limitations runs out.
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Call Our Lawyers for Help
The death of a loved one due to nursing home abuse or neglect is a traumatic and terrible experience for family members. A Tucson death lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will fight to get justice by holding negligent parties accountable for damages to your loved one and your family.
We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation, so call us today.