When we place our loved ones in a nursing home, it’s only natural to expect they’ll receive high-quality care and attention.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the reality. The World Health Organization estimates that one in six seniors experiences some form of abuse in a community setting, such as a nursing home. Tragically, prolonged abuse and neglect can lead to wrongful death.
Are you concerned about something that happened to your loved one while under long-term care? Here’s what you need to know about nursing home wrongful death settlements.
What Qualifies as Nursing Home Wrongful Death?
Wrongful deaths encompass a wide range of serious but preventable injuries or conditions. These include:
- Medication errors
- Neglecting basic healthcare needs
- Failing to diagnose conditions such as sepsis or bedsores
- Failing to stop physical abuse or violence within the nursing home
- Intentional injury, abuse, or neglect of patients
A noteworthy case occurred after 2017’s Hurricane Irma when eight residents died after the storm knocked out the facility’s air-conditioning. Four employees were eventually charged with manslaughter because there was a hospital literally 100 yards away.
Who Can File a Lawsuit?
In every state, spouses and children (biological and adopted) can file for a nursing home abuse settlement. Some states may also allow extended family members such as siblings and cousins to file a suit.
If you’re not sure what your state allows or what the process entails, this is one of the best questions to ask when you meet with a potential lawyer.
How Do Nursing Home Wrongful Death Settlements Work?
Over 95% of personal injury cases (including nursing home wrongful death) settle outside of court. Rather than going through a lengthy and expensive public trial, a settlement offers these benefits:
- Maintains family privacy
- Saves money on court and legal fees
- Resolves the case faster
- Awards compensation quicker
- Reduces the stress of the trial process
The process begins by hiring a lawyer and filing a civil suit. Each side then collects evidence to build their case. The lawyers will then attempt to negotiate a settlement outside of court that satisfies both parties.
If the family receives a fair offer, they can accept it and the matter ends there. Otherwise, the family may choose to take the case to trial in hopes of receiving a higher settlement.
What’s the Average Nursing Home Wrongful Death Compensation?
According to the journal Health Affairs, the average compensation for wrongful death in a nursing home is around $400,000. Depending on the details of your case, your award could be higher or lower than the national average.
Stop Nursing Home Abuse in Its Tracks
Of course, the best scenario is to prevent nursing home abuse from happening in the first place. If you suspect your loved one is suffering or died because of neglect or abuse, your family could be eligible for compensation for wrongful death in a nursing home.
Speak with an attorney in your area to learn more about nursing home wrongful death settlements.
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