Wrongful Death and Nursing Home Liability

Losing a loved one is difficult, even in the best of circumstances. But losing a loved one due to the negligence of a nursing home you trusted to take care of him or her is even worse. In cases of wrongful death when there is possible nursing home liability, it’s important to consult with an attorney to learn if you have a case.

There’s no getting the deceased back. But a wrongful death case can get the compensation and closure you and your loved ones deserve. Hopefully, it could also help ensure that no other family has to go through the same pain of loss.

Most of the time, a close family member of the deceased files the wrongful death claim, but this is not always the case. If you think you may have a case, contact our Arizona nursing home wrongful death lawyers today to see if you have the possibility of legal action.

What Does a Wrongful Death Case Have to Prove?

To prove that the nursing home was responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one, you must be able to prove three things:

  • Negligence

You or your family must be able to prove the death was the result of negligence on the part of the nursing home.

  • Breach of duty

You must be able to prove the nursing home had a duty to the deceased, and that that duty was breached through some kind of negligence. In the case of nursing home-related deaths, it is relatively easy to prove that the home had a duty to one of its residents.

  • Causation

You must be able to prove the negligence that constituted the breach of duty was the cause of your loved one’s death.

If all three of these requirements are met, damages may be awarded, whether at trial or as part of a settlement agreement with the nursing home.

Types of Damages in Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases

Three different types of damages are awarded in cases of wrongful death: non-economic, economic, and punitive. Punitive damages (meant to punish intentional activities that directly contributed to the death) are by far the least commonly awarded.

  • Non-economic

Non-economic damages cover harms such as mental and emotional anguish, pain, and suffering. These damages are a way of compensating for the personal suffering and anguish involved with the loss of a loved one. Non-economic damages are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and may vary based on a number of factors.

  • Economic

Economic damages cover possible loss of income or household services that will result from the passing of the deceased.

  • Punitive

Punitive damages are rarely awarded, but they come about when and if the death of the loved one took place as the result of someone’s intentional action. If one of the nursing home’s employees contributed to the death through some intentional act, these illegal actions may be punished by awarding punitive damages.

Any or all of these types of damages may be awarded in an Arizona wrongful death case.

What Are Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes?

There are many potential causes for wrongful death in nursing homes, and not all of them are named here. But here are a few of the more common causes of death that show up in the court system on a regular basis.

  • Falls

About 1,800 older adults in nursing homes die each year due to injuries related to falls. These can be the result of wet floors, medication, inadequate staffing, or many other potential causes.

  • Infection

Nursing home infection rates are on the rise. Some of the more common infections include pneumonia, urinary tract infection, viral hepatitis, septicemia, and wound infections.

  • Malnutrition and dehydration

About 31 percent of nursing home residents suffer from some form of dehydration, and an even higher percentage experiences malnutrition.

  • Physical abuse

Nearly one in four nursing home residents experience some form of physical abuse or neglect. This neglect may take any number of forms, from simple inattention all the way up to physical assault.

  • Medical Malpractice

Doctors in nursing homes are often working on a part-time basis. Misdiagnosis, mistakes in medication, and failure to order appropriate tests can all fall under the category of malpractice.

If any of these apply to your family, contact us for a free consultation.

Call Our Tucson Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorneys

Tucson Law Office
The Khalidi Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience helping families in the Tucson area get the closure they deserve. If a loved one has suffered injury or wrongful death in a nursing home, contact our compassionate and capable Tucson injury lawyers at The Khalidi Law firm. For a free consultation, call us today.