Losing a loved one is always hard because it marks the end of an era for those who loved them. Yet, when the death is the result of wrongdoing or negligence in a nursing home or other care facility, the level of pain increases even more. Mostly because it is difficult to accept that this tragedy could have been avoided. Whenever this happens, attorneys Hipskind & McAninch recommend that the loved ones of the elderly who died under these circumstances file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent.
What are the most common causes of wrongful deaths of the elderly?
When a loved one is living in a nursing home, it is expected that they will be cared for by staff that is kind, respectful, and professional. Fortunately, the vast majority of staff members do maintain these high standards, but there are some others that do not. Some may even carry out acts of elder abuse and neglect.
Other factors that may contribute to the wrongful death of an elderly person include carelessness, staffing shortages, and ill-suited temperaments. Common causes of wrongful death include:
What resources are available to family members of loved ones who die under these circumstances?
When a wrongful death occurs, family members may seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. This can serve to recover financial compensation while also holding the responsible parties accountable for the role they played in the wrongful death.
Where else do wrongful deaths of the elderly occur?
Besides nursing homes and care facilities, the elderly may lose their lives in car accidents, due to product defects, because of criminal actions, slip and fall accidents, and other types of accidents. When a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, it may also serve to raise awareness of the abuse and neglect that this vulnerable population group is at risk for and help others take actions to prevent this heartbreak.
Who can sue for the wrongful death of an elderly person?
The circumstances of the case and the state where it happened determine who can file the claim. In general, immediate family members such as spouses and children can file this type of lawsuit in every state. However, an unmarried partner may not file, although any children from this relationship do have a right to sue. In some cases, siblings may file, providing they show that they have suffered damages. If there are no living relatives, the estate’s personal representative may sue, or a plaintiff may be appointed by the court.
What types of damages may be sought in wrongful death claims?
In this respect, a wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury case. This means that the claim may seek compensation for several types of damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and funeral costs.
Sadly, for the surviving relatives, wrongful death laws are complex. If you believe that a family member died as a result of suffering abuse or negligence, you should get in touch with an attorney with experience in handling these types of cases. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations applicable to any wrongful death claim, and take immediate action to avoid missing the deadline.