When a person requires nursing home care, it is because they are unable to care for themselves due to a physical, cognitive, or mental condition.
As such, those within a nursing home require the care and assistance of others and are owed a high duty of care.
Unfortunately, nursing homes are not always the safe places they are designed to be.
In fact, nursing home abuse and neglect take place on a regular basis and can sometimes lead to nursing home residents’ injuries or deaths.
When a death in a nursing home occurs that would not have happened but for negligence or a wrongful act, a wrongful death action may be appropriate.
Nursing Home Lawsuits in Georgia
A nursing home owes its residents adequate standard of care; when this duty of care is breached and a nursing home resident is harmed, the nursing home can be held liable for resulting damages. This is also true in instances of nursing home resident death. Wrongful death, as defined by Georgia statute, is a death that occurs as a result of the negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts of another. To win a lawsuit against a nursing home, plaintiffs will need to prove that:
- The nursing home owed the resident a duty of care
- The nursing home breached the duty of care owed to the resident via a negligent, wrongful, or criminal act
- The breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of death
Who Can File a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Action?
The spouse of a deceased person can bring forth a wrongful death action; however, in a nursing home wrongful death case, it is possible there is no surviving spouse, or that this spouse is precluded from legal action based on incapacitation. As such, the right to bring forth a wrongful death suit would then fall to any surviving children; if no children exist, then the personal representative of the nursing home resident who died may bring the claim.
Causes of Deaths in Nursing Homes
A nursing home resident’s death could be the result of neglect that led to an accident or serious decline in health condition,nursing home abuse, including intentionally causing the patient harm that resulted in death; medical errors, such as giving the patient the wrong type or dosage of medication; and more. When the death of a nursing home resident occurs that would not have happened but for a breach of the standard of care owed to the resident, surviving loved ones can seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses prior to death, and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering via a wrongful death action.
Call Our Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
There are few things that are simple about a wrongful death lawsuit. Nursing home wrongful death lawsuits are especially complicated, as the nursing home may argue that the resident’s death was imminent and resulted from natural causes. For help and support in navigating a nursing home wrongful death claim, call our experienced Georgia wrongful death and nursing home abuse lawyers for your free consultation.