Caregivers at nursing homes have a duty to provide the care residents need. If a caregiver fails to do so and causes the death of a resident, whether through an intentionally harmful act or through negligence, the resident’s family members may be able to hold the nursing home liable in a wrongful death claim. If you file a successful wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to a nursing home wrongful death settlement to help compensate for your losses.
Can I file a nursing home wrongful death claim?
Surviving family members — through a personal representative — may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim any time a negligent or intentional act causes the death of a loved one.
If the nursing home or its employees did not fulfill its duty of care to your loved one, you can hold it liable and recover compensation for your loved one’s death.
What kinds of damages might I recover in a nursing home wrongful death settlement?
A successful wrongful death claim might include the following types of damages:
Economic damages include out-of-pocket expenses resulting from your loved one’s death. These damages can include medical expenses and funeral expenses.
We will review any receipts and work with financial experts to determine what you lost.
There are often more non-economic damages available as part of a nursing home wrongful death case than economic damages. These are more difficult to quantify, but they can have a great deal of value. Surviving family members might be entitled to compensation for the following losses:
- Loss of companionship, love, guidance, and nurturing of the deceased loved one (because the surviving children are likely adults, this type of loss can be difficult to recover)
- Loss of consortium, love, and companionship of the deceased spouse.
- Mental anguish as a result of their losses
Because these losses are intangible, to determine their value, we work with experts and gather testimony from family members to establish how the loss affected each family member.
You might also be entitled to punitive damages; however, the defendant in the case must have performed the act with the intention of injuring your loved one.
Essentially, if the defendant forgot to give your loved one their medication three days in a row, causing a stroke and your loved one’s death, you will likely not be able to recover punitive damages.
However, if the defendant refused to give your loved one their medication for three days with the intent of bringing on a stroke or other harm, the jury might award you with punitive damages.
Obtaining punitive damages is very difficult, but we will investigate your loved one’s death and build your case to give you the best chance.
What kinds of damages will I likely not recover in a nursing home wrongful death settlement?
Usually, a resident of a nursing home is not working at the time of his death. As a result, the following economic damages are typically not available in a nursing home wrongful death settlement:
- Lost wages, current and future (anticipated) earnings
- Lost goods and services the deceased loved one would have provided if they had lived
- Lost benefits the deceased loved one would have provided, such as health insurance or retirement income
- Loss of inheritance (the deceased was likely not working towards adding to the surviving family members’ inheritances, so you cannot recover compensation for what the deceased would have contributed)
If your case is different, we will determine the amount of lost earnings and benefits to which you are entitled.
What should I do if my loved one died due to the action of someone while at a nursing home?
If you believe your loved one’s death was a direct result of the nursing home’s negligence or intentional behavior, call us as soon as you are ready. Even though nursing homes should take responsibility for their employees’ actions, that is often not the case.
Nursing homes often aggressively defend against wrongful death cases, as they can involve large sums of money in damages. You need a knowledgeable nursing home wrongful death lawyer on your side, fighting for you.
We will handle your case for you, gathering evidence, handling communication with the nursing home, gathering evidence, negotiating with the home, and taking your case to court, if necessary.
If your loved one has died due to the act of someone while at a nursing home, whether from an intentionally harmful act or from a careless negligent act, the nursing home abuse team at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. will fight to get justice for your loved one.
We know that nothing could ever make up for the loss of your loved one; however, we will make sure that the nursing home does not get off scot-free.
Call us to schedule a free consultation whenever you are ready: 419-843-6663.