Proving Wrongful Death Against a Nursing Home
More than 1.5 million American seniors currently reside in nursing homes, and this number is expected to increase rapidly in the next few decades. Long-term care facilities must be licensed and are expected to adhere to safety and healthcare regulations, but the truth is that many are understaffed and fail to follow proper protocols. Nursing home residents who are over medicated or neglected suffer a diminished quality of life and in some cases, the neglect is fatal. Under Florida personal injury law, a nursing home can be held liable for a wrongful death if the family can prove negligence.
This is not always easy to do, especially if the nursing home resident was suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or some other condition that made communication difficult. However, no one, no matter how old or sick they are, should die because the care facility cut corners or acted unprofessionally. Wrongful death cases against nursing homes are similar to medical malpractice cases. A successful lawsuit must show:
- The facility did not fulfill a standard duty of care
- Resident did not receive necessary care or treatment
- This negligence was the cause of death
Seniors who are ill or frail often are reluctant to tell family members about neglect or abuse, a problem that is exacerbated if the neglect causes confusion. Therefore, family members should be on the alert for any problems when they visit the nursing home, such as sudden physical or emotional changes or unexplained bruising. If you suspect that neglect caused the death of your family member, contact a qualified Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A wrongful death suit cannot bring back your loved one, but it is one way to make nursing homes accountable for their unacceptable behavior.