Death in Nursing Home

PRACTICE AREAS

WRONGFUL DEATH IN A NURSING HOME

For many families, making the difficult decision to pursue long-term care solutions for their parents or loved ones often brings numerous challenges and emotions. When our family reaches the age when caring for themselves becomes more arduous, the search for long-term care, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes begins as well. The process of seeking help from local nursing homes is oftentimes a direct result of an elderly family member’s accident. For example, maybe the elderly loved one suffered a fall, which indicates that they now need constant supervision. The situation usually is a challenging but necessary transition for their daily health care needs.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, our nursing home population has suffered greatly from staff members shortages, vaccination status mandates, and the overall lack of empathy seen throughout nursing home facilities. As the rising reported number of deaths among our seniors and relatives grows in the nursing home population, the question begs, what will it take to stop the surge of deaths in nursing homes?

The leading cause of death among nursing home residents is often related to nursing home abuse or neglect. If your family or loved one has died at the hands of the nursing home staff members, call the Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Curcio Law Offices. Those who administer long-term care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities sometimes take advantage of an elderly individual’s health conditions, and these staff members must be held accountable.

The Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Curcio Law Offices have been protecting the legacy of nursing home residents and standing alongside devastated families for years. Our attorneys understand the devastation in each of our clients and their individual story when faced with nursing home neglect that resulted in resident deaths.
Our team of experienced Chicago lawyers wants to help your family heal from the tragic effects of nursing home negligence. Our lawyers will fight for maximum compensation for your family’s suffering. Together, we hope to create safer long-term care facilities for our future elderly population. Call 312-321-1111 today to schedule a free consultation with us.

Chicago Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyer

WRONGFUL DEATH IN A CHICAGO NURSING HOME

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are designed to provide health solutions for families with seniors who need constant medical resources and supervision due to their current health conditions. These long-term care facilities are supposed to provide high quality care in order to promote both healing and happiness for our elderly population. However, as we know, our loved ones aren’t always a priority for staff members due to a variety of factors. When someone dies due to nursing home abuse or neglect, this is called a wrongful death, and family members can seek damages on behalf of their loved one who has tragically died.

The Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Curio Law Offices understand the devastation in the passing of a loved one. The scenario is exacerbated when an unexpected – and often painful – death occurs in a nursing home. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate the facts of your family’s wrongful death case and compile medical records and witness statements in order to build a strong wrongful death case.

What is Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?

As previously stated, wrongful death in a nursing home is when staff members fail to provide the residents with proper care, and this lack of proper care ultimately leads to death. An example of nursing home negligence that leads to wrongful death could be a stage 4 bedsore. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), stage 3 and 4 bedsores should never happen. Nursing home staff should catch bedsores right when they begin – at stage 1 or stage 2 – and treat them promptly so they don’t progress any further. An elderly person dying from the extreme infection associated with a stage 4 bedsore should never happen. This is a blatant example of nursing home neglect and abuse.

Other examples of negligent acts that could lead to nursing home deaths are nursing home falls, extreme malnutrition and dehydration, and medication errors. If someone you love has died from similar situations as the ones listed previously, you should contact the Chicago elder abuse attorneys at Curcio Law Offices as soon as possible.

What Causes Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes?

Wrongful nursing home deaths can occur due to the following reasons:

  • Medication errors
  • Failure to provide annual vaccinations to elderly residents to prevent the flu, pneumonia, and COVID-19
  • Failure to improve COVID-19 booster rates among nursing staff members
  • General nursing facility abuse or negligence
  • Violence between nursing home residents
  • Failure to respond appropriately to major medical emergencies
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Failure to keep residents clean and hygienic, which can lead to unnecessary nursing home infections
  • Failure to prevent and promptly treat bedsores 
  • Choking accidents (for example: choking on food or medication)

Patients with few prior health conditions reported that have died in long-term care facilities often have families concerned with the people in charge of their elderly loved one’s care. Medication data, diagnostic testing, and infection prevention measures should all be documented to keep track of the deaths occurring within the nursing home. Chicago elder abuse attorneys at Curcio Law Offices can use this detailed account of your loved one’s death in order to build a strong case.

Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit

CHICAGO WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER

A lawsuit for a nursing home wrongful death serves many beneficial purposes for the families whose elderly residents died from the actions of the nursing home staff. The benefits a deceased’s family could reap include financial compensation for expenses such as funeral costs, hospital stays, general medical expenses, etc. Also, a negligence lawsuit forces nursing homes to change, even if temporarily, and improve their quality of care. Furthermore, a lawsuit holds those accountable for negligent or abusive actions that lead to the death of the patient, whether this includes the nursing home, staff members, or both.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nursing Homes or Assisted Living Facilities?

Nursing home residents’ next of kin can file a wrongful death lawsuit. After the next of kin, immediate family members including spouses and children are allowed to file cases of wrongful death in a nursing home facility. Extended families, including life partners and financial dependents, can file in some locations. However, each state carries different rules and guidelines for who is allowed to file in the event of a wrongful death lawsuit.

We urge families to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney before signing any paperwork or moving forward with a claim. When multiple family members file claims, this causes chaos, as only one person should seek damages.

What is the Burden of Proof for a Wrongful Death Claim?

The burden of proof for a wrongful death claim falls on those seeking damages. The claimant must demonstrate that the nursing home patient’s death was caused by abuse or negligence. If the case goes to trial, a jury must consider the importance of the nursing home’s role in the elderly individuals’ final years.

Our experienced Chicago wrongful death lawyers can prove that the wrongful death was directly caused by the nursing homes’ failure to provide the proper care for their residents. Additionally, we can prove how poor quality health care can ultimately cause wrongful death among older adults.

Resident deaths should not continuously go unnoticed. The federal government holds access to data reports, the total number of death certificates, and ultimately the total deaths for the country. Each nursing home site is to report its residents’ date, time, and cause of death. After so many reported deaths for one location, medical audits will likely evaluate the standard of care given to the residents.

So, in filing a claim on behalf of your loved one, you’re potentially protecting other residents in nursing homes throughout the Chicago area.

When a Nursing Home Resident Dies, How Do You Know if You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?

CHICAGO WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS

When a nursing home resident dies, a wrongful death claim is present when the following four elements exist:

A certain standard of care is expected from any caretaker. After all, parents can sue when their child is injured while under the care of a daycare center. But, an even higher standard of care is expected from medical professionals.

When a person tasked with caring for a loved one (and being paid to do so) fails to complete this duty either by their actions (abuse) or inaction (neglect), this demonstrates negligence.

Your attorney can prove to the jury, should your case go to trial, that the caretaker acted negligently by hiring expert witnesses, or those who hold the same titles at similar facilities. If a reasonable person would have handled the situation differently, then one can assume the defendant acted in negligence.

A skilled attorney will persuade the jury through the following commonly asked questions:

  • Did the nursing home or assisted living facility owe the residents a level of duty of care and then breach the owed duty? 
  • Why did the death occur to the nursing home patient? 
  • Did the deceased die of natural causes, or was this related to the failure to provide an adequate standard of care?

The next element of negligence that must be proven in a nursing home death case is breached duty of care. When an individual breaches their duty of care, they must first owe a responsibility or an adequate level of care to the plaintiff. Upon the preponderance of the evidence, the deceased nursing home patient was owed a duty of care. Due to negligence, the duty of care was breached, thus leading to the third element of a wrongful death claim: causation.

The third element of a wrongful death case involves causation. In order to prove this element of negligence, attorneys and family members must prove that the nursing home negligence directly caused death.

You don’t have to prove that causation was intentional, only that the defendant’s negligence is what led to serious injury or death.

The final element for a wrongful death claim is the damages. Families of deceased nursing home patients must list the economic and non-economic damages they suffered in order to receive fair compensation. Our lawyer will compile data of medical records, proof of cremation or burial costs, lost wages, etc. in order to accurately calculate how much you deserve in damages.

When all four elements are present, wrongful death claims against nursing homes are presumed to be valid.

Protecting the Legacy of Nursing Home Residents in Chicago

CHICAGO WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY

The Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Curcio Law Offices have been protecting the legacy of nursing home residents and standing alongside devastated families for years. Our attorneys understand the devastation in each of our clients and their individual story when faced with nursing home neglect that resulted in resident deaths.

Our team of experienced Chicago lawyers wants to help your family heal from the tragic effects of nursing home negligence. Our lawyers will fight for maximum compensation for your family’s suffering. Together, we hope to create safer long-term care facilities for our future elderly population. Call 312-321-1111 today to schedule a free consultation with us.