When you make the decision to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home, you expect that they will receive the care and attention they need for their comfort and safety. Unfortunately, overwhelming evidence points to the increased abuse and neglect of elderly residents in nursing homes throughout the United States. If you suspect abuse or neglect led to your loved one’s death in a nursing home, consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you understand how a San Francisco death lawyer may help your family receive justice on behalf of your loved one that suffered an untimely death.
Nursing Home Laws
The Nursing Home Reform Act is a federal law that requires any nursing home receiving either Medicare or Medicaid funding to provide very specific care and supervision for elderly residents. If there are any breaches of this care, a nursing home may lose their ability to receive these types of federal funding. Additionally, the Older Americans Act Reauthorized 2016 provides financial assistance and help to several programs throughout the United States in an attempt to continually fight and combat elder neglect and abuse.
Finally, the Elder Justice Act of 2009 directly addressed the safety of elderly residents in nursing homes and requires any person witnessing elder neglect or abuse in nursing homes to report that abuse or neglect to appropriate state or federal authorities.
The worst-case scenario of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes results in death. Wrongful death is the claim that a person’s untimely death was the direct result of abusive or negligent actions of another entity, such as a nursing home, or person. If an investigation reveals that an elderly resident of a nursing home died as a direct result elder abuse or neglect from a nursing home employee, administrator, or third party which a nursing home was able to prevent, the family of the person that died has the legal right to bring a lawsuit on behalf of their loved one.
In a wrongful death claim, the family alleges that their loved one’s death was both preventable and avoidable, and their untimely death was a direct result of elder abuse or neglect. While many elderly residents of nursing homes pass away due to medical conditions, or simply due to old age, if there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of an elderly resident, or if their death appears sudden or unexpected, the family should consider having a complete investigation done regarding their death to make a determination whether or not elder abuse or Elder neglect was the cause or factor in their loved one’s death.
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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Resulting in Wrongful Death
Some examples of symptoms related to elder abuse or neglect that result in an elderly resident’s death may include infections, malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, slip and fall injuries, serious bruising, broken or fractured bones unexplained by normal circumstances, physical or emotional signs of abuse or restraint, signs of sexual abuse, or any sign of medical malpractice such as the administration of incorrect medicine or improper treatment.
While many of these signs and symptoms could relate to a death of natural causes, without a proper investigation it will remain unknown whether or not your elderly loved one died as elder abuse or neglect. In many cases, the management at the nursing home will attempt to blame a pre-existing medical condition or simply old age for the death of one of their residence. However, if you feel strongly that there are suspicious or concerning circumstances surrounding your elderly loved one’s death, you should consider visiting the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help you understand how a San Francisco death lawyer can help you determine if elder abuse or neglect was in fact responsible for your family member’s death.
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Consequences of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Many families feel reticent about filing a wrongful death claim regarding the death of their loved one due to nursing home negligence or abuse. However, while no amount of financial compensation can diminish your grief regarding the loss of your loved one, you have the legal right to pursue justice on their behalf. Additionally, you may have outstanding medical bills remaining from treatments resulting from the elder abuse or neglect. Also, you may have funeral bills and expenses. Finally, you have the right to pursue justice for the pain and suffering your elderly loved one into word resulting from their abuse or neglect.
One of the most important consequences that occurs as a result of wrongful death lawsuits against nursing home facilities regarding elder abuse and neglect is that they act as a deterrent against future neglect and abuse of the elderly. Elder abuse and neglect remain illegal and unacceptable behaviors deserving of punishment under the law. The more these cases appear in the public, the more likely it is other nursing homes will take additional measures and precautions to ensure the prevention of elder abuse and neglect.
Finally, when a nursing home receives the judgment indicating elder abuse or neglect occurred in their facility, the local state and national news typically pick up on this story, creating additional awareness of continued abuse and neglect of our senior citizens. Therefore, your actions to file a claim against a nursing home facility on behalf of your elderly loved one that died and untimely death can potentially positively impact the lives of other families and prevent them from going through the same tragedy.
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Consider Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
If you believe your elderly loved one died due to elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you may have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim on their behalf. Learn more by contacting our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm and determining how a San Francisco death lawyer can help you with your case.