Wrongful Deaths in Nursing Homes By Sean Burke on October 11, 2020

elderly person holding a walkerAcross the United States, there are millions of people living in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. As some of the most vulnerable members of society, these people, and their families, have the right to expect that they will be cared for properly.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are far more common than most people realize. This type of substandard care sometimes results in wrongful death. Individuals in the Irvine, CA, area who have lost a loved one as the result of wrongful death in a nursing home can work with wrongful death attorney Sean M. Burke to pursue financial compensation for their losses.

Causes of Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths

When a resident of a nursing home dies, the cause of death is often not investigated, even if it was unexpected. In some cases, family members aren’t told of the circumstances behind a nursing home death and are left to believe it was a simple result of old age. However, even seemingly harmless accidents can be caused by abuse or neglect. Common causes of wrongful deaths in nursing homes include:

  • Slips and falls
  • Infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Physical abuse
  • Medical malpractice

Proving Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home

Like medical professionals, nursing home facilities and their staff have a duty of care to their patients. They are legally obligated to avoid causing harm to patients in their care. They also have a duty to provide care that meets an accepted standard, and must maintain a minimum standard of cleanliness and safety at their facility. Any neglect or breach of this duty that results in death can be classified as a wrongful death.

Without admission from a nursing home facility or their staff, it can be difficult to prove wrongful death, which is why it is important for those who suspect wrongful death to work with a knowledgeable attorney. Attorney Sean M. Burke will gather evidence on behalf of his Irvine clients to prove the primary elements of a wrongful death nursing home case:

  1. The nursing home and/or staff at the nursing home had a duty of care to the deceased.
  2. The duty of care was breached through negligence or gross wrongdoing.
  3. The breach of care resulted in death.
  4. Surviving family members suffered financial and/or emotional losses as a result of the death.

Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

It is impossible to value the worth of a life, but when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, the court typically bases financial compensation on factors such as the deceased’s earning potential and their family members’ financial reliance. By the time a person is living in a nursing home, they are likely to be retired and surviving family members will probably be financially independent. 

While the earning potential of a senior citizen is minimal, their family’s loss is very real. Our legal team fights hard to get our Irvine clients maximum compensation for wrongful death losses such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Any loss of benefits or income
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

Contact Us

If you have lost a loved one in a nursing home death that you suspect was the result of abuse or neglect, attorney Sean M. Burke can help you explore your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. To discuss your case with our legal team, send us a message or call (949) 644-3434 to schedule a legal consultation.

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