Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claims
In some cases, the loved ones of nursing home abuse victims are fortunate enough to discover, report, and hold a nursing home accountable for abuse in time to avoid permanent injury. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as elderly nursing home residents are often frail and so are less likely to recover from injuries and serious medical conditions. Tragically, this means that many nursing home abuse victims end up losing their lives as a result of a facility’s failure to provide adequate care. In these situations, at-fault nursing homes can still be held legally responsible for their negligence, even after the victim passes away, if that person’s loved ones file a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf.
Nursing home wrongful death claims can be both complicated and emotionally grueling, so if your own relative lost his or her life after being abused or neglected at a nursing home, you should consider speaking with an experienced Tulsa nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you pursue your claim.
What Causes Wrongful Deaths in Nursing Homes?
When a nursing home resident passes away because of the negligence, recklessness, or unlawful acts of an employee or administrator at the facility, then his or her death could be considered wrongful. Nursing home wrongful deaths occur in a variety of situations, but most are the result of:
- Physical abuse at the hands of employees;
- A facility’s failure to diagnose or treat a medical condition;
- A serious medication error; or
- A facility’s failure to provide residents with a safe and clean environment.
When this type of unlawful conduct can be linked to a resident’s death, then the victim’s family could be entitled to compensation for that person’s sufferings.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Nursing home wrongful death claims can only be filed by certain individuals, namely, the deceased’s personal representative, who usually files on behalf of a close relative. Depending on the strength of a claim, wrongful death claims are either settled or go to trial. Settlements occur when the facility being sued pays the plaintiffs an agreed-upon sum in exchange for not pursuing the claim in court. While settlement negotiations are often resolved more quickly than cases that are litigated and can give the victim’s family much needed closure, they are not always possible. In these situations, the relatives of the victim will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court, where a judge or jury will be tasked with determining whether his or her death was wrongful and if so, how much the victim’s family members are entitled to. Although going to court is riskier than agreeing to a settlement, the damages awarded by judges and juries are often higher than most settlement offers.
Was Your Loved One the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?
Besides helping families get back on their feet financially after a loved one’s untimely death, wrongful death lawsuits can also encourage non-compliant nursing homes to change their policies. To learn more about filing this type of claim in Oklahoma, please call 918-492-4433 and speak with one of the dedicated Tulsa nursing home abuse lawyers at Levinson Law, P.C. today.