Did your loved one reside in an assisted living facility or nursing home? Did they recently pass away under suspicious circumstances? If you believe your loved one may have been a victim of neglect or abuse in their nursing home and that this abuse or neglect contributed to their death, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties.
With help from a nursing home abuse attorney, you can explore your legal options further and get justice for your treasured family member.
When Is a Death Considered “Wrongful”?
Any death that occurs through neglect, default, or the wrongful act of another could be considered wrongful. Wrongful death claims can be intentional, occur through medical malpractice, or can be based on negligence.
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries as a result of abuse or neglect by their nursing home, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against them under Ark. Code §16-62-102.
However, the claims process can often be complex. This is different from any criminal charges the defendant may face. Instead, your wrongful death attorney will be responsible for showing that had it not been for the defendant’s conduct, your family member may still be alive today.
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When to Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Death
You may not be sure whether you have the right to file a lawsuit when your loved one passes away after suffering injuries or illness while residing in a nursing home. In fact, one of the reasons why nursing home abuse and neglect occur so frequently is because the elderly are at an increased risk of suffering illnesses or injuries that lead to death.
This can make it difficult to know whether you have the right to file a civil lawsuit after your loved one passes away. Your nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at our firm will need to conduct an in-depth investigation to determine whether the nursing home staff, administrators, or facility were negligent or irresponsible in their care or treatment of your family member.
If any staff or facility member physically abused, financially abused, sexually abused, emotionally abused, or neglected your loved one, and the injuries related to this abuse ultimately caused their death, you may have the right to take legal action against them. You can find out more about what legal options may be available to you after your loved ones pass away in a nursing home when you reach out to our office to discuss the circumstances of your case.
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What to Expect from Your Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim
The nursing home wrongful death claims process can be complex. There are many legal details you need to be aware of as you attempt to move forward with your wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the most notable laws you need to know include:
- Only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If your loved one passed away due to nursing home neglect or abuse, only their designated representative has the right to file the claim.
- If the decedent did not assign a personal representative of the receipt, the “heirs at law” will have the authority to file the lawsuit. These parties could include the decedent’s surviving siblings, spouse, parents, or children, the decedent’s legal guardian, or anyone acting as the decedent’s legal guardian at the time of their death.
- According to Ark. Code §16-62-102, your nursing home wrongful death claim must be filed within three years, or the statute of limitations will expire and prohibit you from seeking compensation at the civil court level.
Proving nursing home abuse and neglect can be a difficult process. However, when you have an experienced legal advocate on your side investigating liability, you can rest easier. We will work tirelessly to gather the evidence needed to prove the defendant’s negligence and misconduct in your case so you can get justice and help protect other nursing home residents from neglect and abuse.
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Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
The types of damages you can be awarded in a nursing home wrongful death claim are designed to compensate you for not only your emotional trauma but your financial losses as well. Not only will you be compensated as surviving family members, but you will also be awarded compensation for the ways the decedent’s life was affected by their fatal nursing home wrongful death injuries.
Damages on behalf of the decedent’s estate often include financial losses. For example, you might be awarded compensation for any of the following types of losses in a nursing home wrongful death claim:
- The decedent’s funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent’s medical costs
- The value of the decedent’s lost wages and reduced earning potential
- The physical and emotional pain the decedent suffered prior to their passing
Damages awarded to the decedent’s surviving family members in what is commonly referred to as a “family claim” could include:
- The surviving family members’ loss of the decedent’s companionship, guidance, love, care, support, advice, protection, and society
- The surviving family members’ loss of the decedent’s financial contributions
- The emotional trauma, grief, and despair suffered by the surviving family members
- The surviving family members’ loss of the decedent’s education and training
Or you can get a better idea of how much your nursing home wrongful death claim is worth when you discuss your legal options further with your attorney.
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Contact a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help Today
Nursing home wrongful death claims can be extremely difficult. If you are confused and unsure of where to get started with your case, our experienced nursing home wrongful death lawyers at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC are here to help.
You should be able to mourn your loss and get justice. Fill out our quick contact form or call our office to schedule a no-cost, risk-free consultation today so you can start working on your insurance and civil claims.