The loss of a loved one is always tragic, but the pain can be compounded if the death occurred while the person was under the care of others in a place where he or she should have been safe. Nursing home abuse is a widespread problem that sometimes leads to death.
If your family member died while living in a long-term care facility, you and other relatives may be struggling to come to grips with the situation. You may be trying to figure out how it happened and who was responsible. You may want to seek justice and hold those who were responsible for the death accountable.
A Jacksonville death lawyer may be able to help. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has assisted clients all over the United States who suffered when a loved one died due to the treatment that he or she received in a long-term care facility. We may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your family. Call our office today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.
How Nursing Home Abuse Can Lead to Death
People living in long-term care facilities may suffer numerous types of abuse at the hands of their caregivers, fellow patients, and others who visit the facility. Abuse can be both overt and subtle.
Physical abuse may include hitting, pushing, slapping, and other forms of aggressive contact that are designed to inflict pain. Even if the perpetrator does not intend to cause the victim’s death, that may happen because senior citizens in nursing homes are already weak and vulnerable. A person who is elderly and who has trouble walking and standing without assistance may fall if he or she is hit or pushed. If the victim’s head strikes the floor or another hard object, he or she may die, either immediately or at the hospital.
Nursing homes all over the United States overmedicate patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Understaffing is a common problem in long-term care facilities, and employees often feel overwhelmed by the demands of caring for numerous patients with physical limitations and cognitive decline. In some cases, workers give patients antipsychotic drugs, even though they do not have a psychiatric disorder. The medications are intended to keep patients docile and to make them easier to manage.
Giving nursing home residents powerful and unnecessary drugs can have life-threatening consequences. Those drugs can have dangerous side effects, and they can interact with other medications that patients have been prescribed to treat a range of medical conditions. In some cases, the results can be fatal.
Patients in nursing homes should be provided with nutritious meals in sufficient amounts to meet their nutritional needs. All too often, residents do not get the nutrition they need. Staff members may not cut up food as required for a patient who has difficulty chewing or may fail to provide assistance when needed. An employee may bring a meal into a patient’s room but place it out of reach or may take it away before the individual has had a chance to eat enough.
In some cases, nursing home workers withhold food as punishment or as a form of abuse. They may refuse to feed a patient as retaliation for something that a person said or did or to coerce a person who has been abused in another way into keeping silent.
For a person who is in poor health, not having access to enough food, and not receiving assistance to eat it can have devastating consequences. A patient’s already fragile health can deteriorate. If the issue is not addressed quickly, the individual may die.
How a Jacksonville Death Lawyer Can Help Your Family
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can investigate to figure out how your relative died and who was liable. We can review your family member’s medical records and the autopsy report and consult independent medical experts to find out if anything seems suspicious. If so, we can gather more information by reviewing nursing home records and by interviewing employees, fellow residents, and others.
If we believe that your loved one’s death occurred because of abuse or neglect, we may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. Florida Statutes §768.19 states that a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed “[w]hen the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.”
A personal representative may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of surviving relatives and the deceased person’s estate. Under Florida Statutes §768.21, survivors may pursue a financial award to cover the value of lost support and services, medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. The personal representative may seek compensation for loss of earnings and loss of the prospective net accumulations of the estate.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
Speak with a Jacksonville Death Lawyer
If your loved one died while receiving care in a nursing home, you are most likely feeling devastated. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to hold the facility accountable and seek financial compensation for your family.
People who have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence often consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit but hesitate to do so because of concerns about legal fees. You should not worry about the cost because Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works on a contingency basis. If you ask us to represent your family, you will not have to pay us any money upfront. Our firm will only get paid if we collect a financial award on your behalf.
You have a limited amount of time to act. According to Florida Statutes §95.11(4)(d), the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. Time may pass quickly in the months after a family member’s death.
It may also take our team several months to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s passing. Once we have gathered relevant information and figured out what happened, we will need time to prepare and file a lawsuit. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to get to work. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.