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Can Nursing Homes Be Sued for Wrongful Death?

November 8, 2021

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Nursing homes are supposed to give their residents high-quality and compassionate care. But some nursing homes prioritize their profits over their residents’ well-being. These nursing homes often understaff and hire inexperienced workers who are more likely to abuse or neglect residents than workers in other nursing homes (although residents can be neglected in even highly rated nursing homes).

Abuse and neglect can take a major toll on nursing home residents, and some suffer serious health problems. And in extreme cases, residents can even die when the abuse or neglect they’re subject to is severe, either from the neglect itself or from health conditions that have gone untreated due to neglect. If the unthinkable happens to nursing home residents, their families can sue the facilities they lived in for their deaths.

How Can Neglect Cause a Resident to Die?

Many nursing home residents are in poor health. Whether due to age, illness, lost mobility, or a combination of factors, many residents need daily medications and frequent treatment for their health conditions. When residents are neglected by staff members, their health can quickly deteriorate and new illnesses may not be discovered until it’s too late.

We’ve heard of or personally dealt with cases where nursing home residents have died as a result of severe bedsores, infection due to unsanitary living conditions, going days between medication dosages, and even from hunger and thirst. Sadly, the most vulnerable nursing home residents are often the most likely to be neglected, as they’re often unable to alert others about what’s happening to them.

How Can Abuse Cause a Resident to Die?

Abuse is a more direct form of nursing home mistreatment, and it can range from verbal assaults to emotional torment and physical violence. Residents who are abused psychologically may develop anxiety and depression, which can make them less likely to comply with their doctors’ orders, including medication regimens and physical therapy.

Physical and sexual abuse can also be extremely damaging to residents and even fatal. Residents who are subject to violence can suffer cuts and abrasions that can become infected. They also may experience pain that can make it difficult for them to move around, which can increase their risk for a potentially fatal fall.

Other Common Scenarios Can Also Result in Resident Deaths

Because so many people in nursing homes are in a fragile state, care facility owners and administrators must do everything they can to keep their residents safe. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, residents suffer life-threatening injuries and illnesses not because of neglect or abuse, but because of negligent safety practices and standards.

Residents may slip and fall on wet or slick floors, develop food poisoning from undercooked or expired food, overheat due to broken air conditioning, or be seriously injured while traveling on field trips away from their nursing homes. But these types of deaths can only happen when nursing homes are negligent.

When Negligence Claims Innocent Lives, We Demand Accountability

Nursing home owners and administrators must do everything in their power to ensure that residents are as safe as possible while under their care. That means hiring enough workers to provide each resident with individual attention, ensuring that all workers are properly trained and educated, and taking steps to keep residents safe in their rooms, in common areas, and on outings.

When residents become injured, sick, or even die because the proper precautions weren’t taken, those owners and administrators should be held liable. And at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, that’s exactly what our Ohio nursing home abuse lawyers do. We hold negligent facilities accountable when they fail to provide the care that residents and their families expect and deserve.

Contact us today if your loved one was harmed or died because of a negligent nursing home. Let us handle talking to the insurance company so your family can grieve in peace. We’ll work hard to get your family maximum compensation for the loss you suffered.

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