Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

Wrongful death in nursing homes occurs when a resident of a care facility dies at the hands of negligent, incompetent, or poorly trained nursing home staff. Families who have lost loved ones to abuse or neglect can file nursing home wrongful death lawsuits and may be entitled to receive compensation, which can help pay for things like medical bills and funeral services. It is also a way to get justice for your loved one’s needless suffering and preventable death.

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Nursing Home Wrongful Death Causes

Every state in the country has specific laws around nursing home wrongful death cases. Depending on the laws in your state, wrongful death in a nursing home can be legally proven when the facility or its employees are found to be at fault for causing a resident’s death by acting negligently and intentionally.

Causes of nursing home wrongful death include:

  • Abuse or assault
  • Complications from untreated bed sores, like sepsis
  • Failure to treat medical conditions, such as pneumonia or COVID-19
  • Falls and other accidents that cause serious injury
  • Faulty or improperly used medical equipment (like accidental suffocation by bed rails)
  • Lack of basic care
  • Medication mistakes
  • Malnutrition and dehydration

Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

The best way to prevent wrongful death from happening in nursing home facilities is to be vigilant in watching for signs of elder abuse and neglect.

Some of the warning signs include:

  • Arguments with particular caregivers or nursing home employees
  • Bed sores
  • Bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Missing money or personal belongings
  • Poor hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Withdrawal from normal activities

If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, it is critical to take action. No one deserves to suffer in silence and your loved one needs you to be their advocate.

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If you believe your loved one’s death was the result of abuse or neglect, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help you understand your legal options.

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Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home?

Nursing home wrongful death cases are particularly appalling, considering families put their trust in these facilities to protect the safety and wellbeing of their vulnerable loved one. Losing a loved one is painful enough. Having to live with the thought of a loved one dying because of the choice of a nursing home can be unbearable for those left behind.

While it will never bring back a loved one, taking legal action through a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit may be a way for families to get justice. A nursing home lawsuit is a way to hold nursing homes accountable for causing needless suffering and death — the very things they were being paid to prevent.

It is very important to hold those who may be responsible for nursing home abuse accountable. By filing a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit, you may help prevent the same thing from happening to another family.

A nursing home wrongful death lawsuit is also a way to secure financial compensation that can be used to pay for unpaid medical bills and funeral costs.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Nursing Home Lawsuit?

A nursing home wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by anyone who suffered damage from the nursing home resident’s death. Oftentimes, this is the executor of the deceased person’s estate, but not always.

Those who may be entitled to file a wrongful death nursing home lawsuit include:

  • Immediate surviving family members, such as spouses or life partners, children, and adopted children
  • Financial dependents or those who suffer financially due to lost support
  • Family members like sisters or brothers

When a resident dies because of nursing home negligence or intentional harm, a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit may be the best way for survivors to fight back.

How Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help

When you work with Sokolove Law, your nursing home wrongful death attorneys will handle every step of the legal process for you.

Because nursing home residents are usually elderly and may be frail, nursing home wrongful death cases can be challenging cases. Lawyers who represent nursing homes will do everything possible to defend their clients by claiming the resident’s death was unavoidable.

The nursing home abuse lawyers working with Sokolove Law know how to carefully investigate cases to prove negligence.

Nursing home wrongful death attorneys may:

  • Conduct an investigation of your nursing home wrongful death case
  • Gather evidence for your case by reviewing medical records and expenses
  • File a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit in court
  • Pursue financial compensation through a nursing home wrongful death settlement or jury verdict if a settlement is not reached

Wrongful Death Nursing Home Settlements vs. Verdicts

Wrongful death nursing home lawyers can often reach settlement agreements through discussions with the nursing home’s lawyers and insurance carrier. Other times, wrongful death nursing home lawsuits will go to mediation, which is a more formal negotiation process involving a neutral third party who tries to revolve the case.

Most nursing home wrongful death cases are settled before a lawsuit is filed. However, if nursing home wrongful death settlement negotiations can’t be reached out of court, then the case will go to trial.

In these cases, a judge or jury will decide if the defendant is at fault. If the defendant is found liable, a monetary award will then be determined.

Compensation for Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases

Nursing home wrongful death attorneys with Sokolove Law have helped recover over $216 Million on behalf of clients who were impacted by abuse or neglect in nursing homes.

Financial compensation from a nursing home wrongful death case may include money for:

  • Emotional distress
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages as a way to further punish those responsible

As a national nursing home abuse law firm, Sokolove Law can file nursing home neglect cases in any state, so we can help clients all across the country.

Learn more about your potential legal options in a free case review today.

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You may be eligible for compensation. We may be able to help.

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Get Help Filing a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit

For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has helped people in all 50 states take action, get justice, and receive financial compensation. We help our clients navigate the legal system and advocate for victims to get the justice they deserve.

When you trust us with your nursing home wrongful death case, you are not just a number. You will work closely with our team of dedicated legal professionals that include experienced nursing home abuse attorneys, paralegals, and case managers.

We have extensive experience with nursing home wrongful death cases that we put to work for our clients at no upfront cost.

If your loved one passed away in a care facility and you suspect neglect or abuse was involved, you may have a nursing home wrongful death case. Get a free consultation today to learn your legal options.

Nursing Home Wrongful Death FAQs

What is a nursing home wrongful death?

Nursing home wrongful death occurs when a resident dies as a result of something the care facility and/or its staff members did. Wrongful death cases can occur in assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities.

Can you sue a nursing home for wrongful death?

Yes, you can sue a nursing home for wrongful death. While a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit can’t bring your loved one back, it may provide compensation to pay for things like unpaid medical bills and funeral expenses.

How long do nursing home wrongful death lawsuits take?

There’s no set time frame for any lawsuit. The timeline for a nursing home wrongful death case depends on how complex the case is, whether it goes to court or settles beforehand, and what types of deadlines the specific court has.

How much is a nursing home wrongful death settlement worth?

There’s no easy way to predict how much a nursing home wrongful death settlement may be worth. Nursing home wrongful death settlements vary according to a number of unique details in each case, like the age and health of the deceased, their overall life expectancy, any lost income or earning capacity, and more. Learn more about your potential legal options by calling (800) 995-1212 or getting a free case review today.

How much is the average wrongful death settlement?

There is no way to predict an average settlement amount for a nursing home wrongful death claim. In addition to each case being different, each state has different laws that dictate how much money can be awarded.

A number of different factors are taken into consideration when determining compensation for nursing home wrongful death cases, including the deceased’s:

  • Age
  • Earning capacity
  • Life expectancy
  • Overall health
Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: September 16, 2021

View 3 Sources
  1. Boston Globe. "SJC says relatives cannot sue nursing homes for wrongful death of loved one if they sign arbitration agreements.” Retrieved from: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/02/27/metro/sjc-says-relatives-cannot-sue-nursing-homes-wrongful-death-loved-one-if-they-sign-arbitration-agreements/. Accessed on June 15, 2021.
  2. Health Affairs. "The Rise Of Nursing Home Litigation: Findings From A National Survey Of Attorneys." Retrieved from: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/abs/10.1377/hlthaff.22.2.219?journalCode=hlthaff#sec-6. Accessed on June 15, 2021.
  3. National Center on Elder Abuse. "Red Flags of Abuse." Retrieved from: https://ncea.acl.gov/NCEA/media/docs/Red-Flags-of-Elder-Abuse-English.pdf. Accessed on June 15, 2021.