Dealing with the death of a loved one is very difficult, regardless of how much time you have to prepare. In some tragic cases, families and loved ones of a deceased individual struggle to find closure if the death of a loved one is unnatural, unexpected, or caused by a third party. Sometimes elderly adults, like those living in a nursing home, are under the care of trained staff who are trusted to oversee the daily medical needs of residents. If a staff member fails to do their job, it can have devastating and even fatal consequences for your loved one.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elders who were abused were 300% more likely to die.
If you lost a family member or loved one, and their death may have been caused by a third party, you may be able to seek justice through legal action. In some cases, financial compensation is available for the families of victims. An Atlanta death lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm might be able to help you with your case. Call us today to speak with a team member for more information about what you can do next.
Leading Causes of Death
While death can occur for natural reasons, in certain instances, death is due to an accident, mistreatment, or other preventable causes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported nearly 170,000 accidental deaths in the United States in a 2016 study. Some demographics, like the elderly, are more at risk than others, but this does not mean a form of negligence, abuse, or other factors did not contribute to their passing.
If someone in your life passed away and a third party might have been at least partially liable, you could be able to take legal action. In some cases, financial compensation is available for the families of victims. Consider hiring an Atlanta death lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm if you are interested in exploring your legal options. Call us today to take action against those responsible.
Preventable Nursing Home Deaths
While nursing home residents are under the 24-hour care of trained staff members, accidental and preventable deaths can still occur. Some common types of preventable deaths in nursing homes include but are not limited to:
- Falling: Falls are extremely dangerous for elderly adults. In many cases, they can cause severe injury, and in other cases, falls can be fatal. Older adults are sometimes more at risk for falling due to decreased muscular strength, balance, stability, motor skills, and proneness to confusion. If a nursing home fails to keep their facilities safe, for example, by leaving a wet floor or loose guardrail, this can jeopardize the safety of residents.
- Choking: Choking is a serious threat of death for nursing home residents. Many elderly individuals use dentures, have specific dietary needs, take medications with side effects that cause drowsiness, or possess other healthcare needs that should be carefully monitored by caregivers. Failure to supervise the administration of food can lead to death.
- Malnourishment: Every human body needs the appropriate nourishment to survive. This can come in the form of various food, water, and supplements. Residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities receive nourishment from their facility in the form of regular meals. Some residents have specific diets that need to be carefully followed based on medical needs. When a person fails to receive the vitamins and nutrients they need, this is a form of undernourishment. Severe undernourishment can lead to malnourishment, which is potentially fatal and can cause a long list of other ailments and conditions. Sadly, malnourishment sometimes occurs in nursing homes and can lead to death.
- Medication errors: As we age, our bodies are prone to new pain, discomfort, and medical conditions. Many older adults seek treatment for these conditions in the form of prescription medication. While medication can be beneficial, it can also be dangerous when misused. Those living in a nursing home might rely on staff members to administer their medications appropriately. This requires proper medication, dosage, and frequency. Medication errors can occur for a variety of reasons, but all medication administration errors are extremely dangerous.
- Other forms of negligence and abuse: Neglect is the failure to act or react in an appropriate manner. Abuse is any action that can cause harm to another individual. While many nursing home residents are happy, safe, and well cared for in their facilities, others might experience abuse or neglect. Abuse and neglect can come in many forms, including intentional harm from a caregiver towards a resident, or negligence in medication administration, for example. Both abuse and negligence can be illegal and can put your loved one at risk.
The CDC estimates that 1.3 million adults live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, as of 2016. Unfortunately, some of these residents will fall victim to negligent and abusive behavior that can jeopardize their health and even cause death. If you lost a loved one who was living in a nursing home facility and believe another party could be to blame, you could be eligible for financial compensation. Because no two cases are alike, consulting a lawyer may help you decide whether or not a legal claim is right for you.
For a free legal consultation with an death lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
If you are considering legal action against the parties responsible for the death of a loved one, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to answer your questions and help you determine the best course of action for you and your family during this difficult time. Call us today to speak with a team member at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how an Atlanta death lawyer can begin taking action towards justice.