Nursing homes are supposed to be a respite for the elderly where they can get the care they need to live out their last years with the dignity we all deserve. Unfortunately, around 1 to 2 million adults over the age of 65 are subject to some type of abuse or neglect at the hands of a caregiver, and much of this abuse occurs in nursing homes. Nursing homes are often understaffed and those who do provide care may be disinterested, unskilled or downright cruel to the most vulnerable patients.
Nursing home abuse is always tragic, but in some especially devastating cases, the abuse results in death. If this happens to your loved one or relative, you may be able to take legal action and obtain compensation for wrongful death. A Boston wrongful death attorney can help you to understand your rights and pursue a claim.Understanding Wrongful Death Nursing Home Claims
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide reasonably competent care to all of the patients and residents they have living under their roof. This means many things, including ensuring that the patients have food; stay hydrated; do not develop pressure sores; and receive appropriate medications.
Unfortunately, sometimes nursing home staff fails to care for patients or are abusive towards them. Nursing home residents may be subject to neglect, which is unintentional withholding of life-sustaining care. Nursing home residents may also experience physical abuse, financial abuse, verbal abuse and sexual abuse. Some nursing home residents are even prescribed antipsychotic medications as a method of chemical restraint, even when there is no legitimate medical reason to administer the drugs.
When nursing homes are neglectful or abusive, they are breaching the legal obligation that they have to their patients. If this breach results in death as a result of neglect or abuse, then the nursing home patient who was killed has been harmed and his or her surviving family members have also suffered a loss.
The deceased patient cannot stand up for himself in court against the abusive or neglectful nursing home, but his surviving family members can. With the help of a Boston wrongful death lawyer, eligible close family members including spouses and children can file a wrongful death claim to obtain monetary damages from the nursing home.Obtaining Compensation for Nursing Home Wrongful Death
When you hold a nursing home accountable for causing a wrongful death, you must first prove the nursing home breached its required duty of care or obligation to the patient. You then must show this was the direct or proximate cause of death, which means that the death would not have occurred as it did if the nursing home had not been negligent. Finally, you must demonstrate the extent of damages suffered.
The wrongful death damages available will include actual financial losses that occurred as a result of the nursing home abuse or neglect. For example, surviving family members can obtain money to pay for funeral costs and any medical bills that the deceased incurred due to abuse/neglect before death. Surviving family members also suffer a non-economic loss though: the loss of their loved one. Damages are also available for this loss of companionship. Finally, in some egregious cases of abuse and neglect, punitive damages may be levied against the nursing home to punish the nursing home. These damages are paid to the surviving family members as part of the wrongful death action.Getting Legal Help
Taking on a nursing home can be a tough challenge, especially since nursing homes have legal experts on their side to represent their interest. You, too, need to have a legal professional representing you and assisting you in making your case.
An experienced and dedicated Boston wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can advocate for you to maximize the compensation you obtain in your wrongful death claim. To schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you, get in touch with us today at (617) 367-2900 or contact us online.Wrongful Death Legal Help – (617) 367-2900 – Free Consultation