As elderly parents and relatives grow older, they may require special care, but this introduces the very real fear of nursing home abuse. Most times, you may not have the necessary skills to provide this special care. Even if you have the skills, you may not have the time to do so. This is why people send elderlies to nursing homes to receive proper care. However, they may be unsafe in these nursing homes. This insecurity is primarily because of abuse and neglect, which is fast becoming frequent in nursing homes.
Nursing home abuse or neglect can result in wrongful death. Wrongful death is when a person dies through the actions or inactions of another person. It is described as wrongful because the nursing home could have prevented death with extra care. In this scenario, the abuse would be an “action,” while neglect will be classed as an “inaction,” which can cause wrongful death. In such a case you may need to consult a skilled wrongful death lawyer.
Can I Sue for the Wrongful Death of My Loved One in a Nursing Home?
It is sad that while some nursing homes take good care of the older people in their care, other nursing homes neglect their patients and sometimes abuse them. In some cases, neglect or abuse may be caused by a single employee’s actions and not necessarily the norm in a nursing home. Either way, if an older person you kept in the care of a nursing home dies from neglect or abuse there, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home.
Florida law states explicitly that nursing homes must protect their residents from dehydration, malnutrition, falls, bedsores, infections, assault and abuse, and unsanitary conditions. So, death from any of these conditions is sufficient grounds for a lawsuit. To successfully sue these nursing homes, employing the services of a good and experienced nursing home abuse attorney is a wise and important first line of action.
Who Can Sue?
Although the nursing home’s dead resident is your relative, you may not be able to sue. Your inability to sue may be because not everyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. Usually, members of the decedent’s immediate family can file wrongful death lawsuits. This class will include the surviving spouse, parents, or children of the deceased. If the law doesn’t allow you to sue, you can always find a qualified family member to bring the claim.
Proving Negligence on the Part of the Nursing Home
If you file a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home, you will have to prove its negligence. To prove negligence, you must establish the following in court:
- That the nursing home owed a duty of care to your relative.
- That the nursing home breached this duty of care.
- That this breach is the legal and direct cause of the death of your relative.
Many nursing home residents already have underlying illnesses. So, it may be hard to prove that the nursing home’s negligence caused their death. To prove that the nursing home’s negligence resulted in death, you will need a nursing home abuse attorney in Florida. The attorney will need to conduct multiple investigations and evaluate medical evidence to establish a connection between the negligence and your loved one’s death.
Possible Damages You May Recover
Having proved that your relative died because of the nursing home’s fault, you can recover some damages. In Florida, you will have to choose between claiming survival damages and claiming wrongful death damages. It would be best if you made a thoughtful and informed choice on which damages to claim.
You can recover damages for the following:
- Medical or funeral expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of companionship and protection, mental pain and suffering for the surviving spouse
- Loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction for the children
The court can also grant you punitive damages against the nursing home because of their negligence.
Lost a Loved One to Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect? We Could Get You Compensated!
Losing an elderly relative because of the actions of those we trusted to care for them is painful. Nothing can bring them back. However, the law guarantees that you can receive compensation for their death. If you have lost an elderly relative to nursing home abuse or neglect, it would be best to contact our expert Lakeland nursing home abuse lawyers. Our lawyers at Burnetti P.A. are dedicated to ensuring that everyone who suffers at the hands of negligent nursing homes in Florida receives compensation. We have done this successfully for many years, and we can get compensation for you too.