Wrongful death lawsuits are tragic cases in which a person dies as a result of another person’s negligent or reckless conduct. Nursing homes are required by both state and federal laws to provide residents with a safe and comfortable environment and additionally provide proper care and treatment.
Sadly, losing a loved one while they are under the care of a nursing home facility is not uncommon, however, when a loved one passes unexpectedly, it is important to investigate the cause of death.
If your loved one has died unexpectedly in a nursing home, a Palm Beach County nursing home wrongful death lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death and is prepared to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Work with a compassionate nursing home abuse attorney that can advocate for your loved one.
Nursing Home Abuse Leading to Wrongful Death
Cases of nursing home abuse and neglect can easily lead to a person’s death or substantial injury. Examples of nursing home abuse include physical, psychological, and financial abuse.
Physical abuse refers to unexplained injuries, bruises, and broken bones. Psychological abuse is not always easy to identify but can involve behavior from nursing home staff including yelling, humiliating, shaming, and criticizing nursing home residents. Financial exploitation occurs when a caregiver or a member of nursing home staff gain access and thereafter takes advantage of a person’s financial status.
Psychological abuse and financial abuse can contribute to an overall decline in a person’s health and well-being. These behaviors should be concerning to families as they may indicate that a loved one is being exposed to substandard conditions and may be exposed to physical abuse.
Establishing Liability for Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes
Losing a loved one is difficult and traumatic, and when a nursing home and their staff directly contribute to a resident’s passing it is important for individuals to understand their rights as a family.
Florida law recognizes that family members are entitled to file lawsuits on behalf of their loved ones, referred to as a wrongful death lawsuit. However, a critical element of a wrongful death lawsuit is establishing who is liable. A Palm Beach County nursing home wrongful death lawyer can attempt to establish liability in a wrongful death case.
Elements of Negligence
In order to prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home, a person must prove the following under Florida Statute Section 400.023(2):
- Defendant owed a duty to the resident
- Defendant breached the duty to the resident
- Breach of the duty is a legal cause of loss, injury, death, or damage to the resident; and
- Resident sustained loss, injury, death, or damage as a result of the breach
Nursing homes in West Palm Beach are expected to provide residents with reasonable care. Reasonable care is defined in Florida Statute Section 400.023 as, that degree of care which a reasonably careful licensee, person, or entity would use under like circumstances.
Importance of Investigating the Facts of a Case
It is therefore obvious, that anytime a nursing home resident has been subjected to abuse or neglect that the nursing home is not meeting the standard of providing reasonable care, and can, therefore, be held liable for a person’s passing.
However, proving the above-mentioned elements and whether or not a resident received reasonable care often requires a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding a person’s passing.
A Palm Beach County nursing home abuse wrongful death attorney can review nursing home policies and procedures, review treatment notes, and conduct interviews with nursing home staff and even other residents to determine if a nursing home resident has been subjected to abuse or neglect that lead to their passing.
Contacting a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one in a nursing home and have unanswered questions, contact a Palm Beach County nursing home wrongful death lawyer to discuss your case.
Your attorney can help investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s passing and can file a wrongful death lawsuit to help families recover compensation for their losses.