Navigating the death of a loved one is a stressful and challenging time for you and your family. It can be even more traumatic if another party may have some responsibility for the passing of your loved one. Sadly, nursing home staff and caregivers put residents at risk through neglect, abuse, and other inappropriate behavior.
If you suspect another party contributed to your loved one’s death while they lived in a nursing home, you could have grounds for legal action. A Savannah death lawyer can help you determine the best path forward for your family. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to speak with a team member about your case.
Life in a Nursing Home
Living in a nursing home can be an excellent option for elderly adults, especially those who need help with their daily routine. Nursing homes provide secure shelter, recreational activities, social opportunities, round-the-clock supervision, and assistance with medication administration and other needs. It is no wonder that there are nearly 16,000 nursing homes in the United States housing over one million residents, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While nursing homes offer a safe and fulfilling residential opportunity for most residents, some unfortunately experience abuse and neglect that, in severe cases, contribute to their death.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Abuse and neglect are damaging forms of behavior that can jeopardize your loved one’s health and well-being. Abuse is any action or behavior that causes intentional harm to another person. At the same time, neglect is the failure to act or react in a reasonable manner, which in turn has detrimental effects on the victim.
Examples of abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Physical abuse, like hitting, pushing, or throwing objects at a person, can immediately endanger the physical health of a victim. Emotional abuse can also take a toll over time. Examples of emotional abuse include name-calling, yelling, screaming, or ignoring. Both physical and emotional abuse can tragically lead to the death of a loved one.
Neglectful behavior, like abuse, also sadly contributes to nursing home deaths. If your loved one does not receive the medication they need, fails to receive aid after becoming ill or suffering an injury, or becomes malnourished due to improper feeding, they could lose their life.
According to the Department of Justice (DoJ), at least 10 percent of adults over the age of 65 will experience a form of elder abuse in any given year. This statistic does not take any unreported cases of abuse or neglect into account, meaning this already staggering figure is likely higher in reality. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2020 another startling claim: nearly 2 in 3 staff members in nursing homes admitted to abusing a resident in the prior year.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Understanding the signs of abuse and neglect can help you recall if your loved one may have suffered prior to their death. If your loved one died while living in a nursing home, it is possible that abuse or neglect by a third party could have been a factor. Some warning signs of abuse and neglect include:
- Bruises, cuts, scrapes, or signs of physical trauma.
- Fear of a specific staff member or situation.
- Sudden changes in personality.
- Anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and other signs of emotional trauma.
- Unkempt appearance.
- Change in appetite.
- Self-destructive behavior.
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (42 USC § 1395i-3) requires nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to operate in the best possible manner with respect to residents’ health and well-being.
If your loved one suffered neglect or abuse in any way that could have contributed to their death, this is in direct violation of federal law and could become grounds for legal action. If you would like to learn more about your legal options following your loved one’s death, speaking with a Savannah death lawyer could prove beneficial for your family moving forward. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free case review with a team member.
For a free legal consultation with an death lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 794-0444
Causes of Death in a Nursing Home Facility
Because many nursing home residents are elderly and often deal with deteriorating health, natural deaths frequently happen in nursing homes. Tragically, deaths can also occur due to mistakes and accidents. Some of the contributing factors for unnatural nursing home deaths include:
- Neglect and abuse
- Medication administration errors
- Accidents resulting from lack of supervision
The families of wrongful death victims in nursing homes sometimes qualify for compensation. Understanding your legal options can help you decide whether filing a claim is right for you.
Savannah Death Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Potential Compensation for Victims
If authorities found that a third party partially caused your loved one’s death wrongfully, you could have the basis for compensation through a legal claim. Families of victims can sometimes recover awards for:
- Medical bills
- Loss of care and companionship
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
If you would like to explore your legal options during this difficult time, you might want to contact a Savannah death lawyer.
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How to Get Legal Help
In the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, the last thing on your mind may be your legal options. However, acting against responsible parties can help your family cope with the stress of unexpected expenses while pursuing the justice your loved one deserves. You may even help prevent other families from suffering the trauma of wrongful death in the future.
A Savannah death lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today to discuss your case in detail with a team member. We can answer any questions you might have and help you begin to put this difficult chapter behind you.