Houston Texas Lawyer Blog

Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Death?

July 6, 2020 Elder Abuse

The answer as to whether you can sue depends on whether the nursing home’s neglect or abuse caused your loved one’s death.
Although wrongful deaths related to nursing homes are common, proving them can be hard. Nursing home managers will often deny that negligence or abuse has occurred. Workers at these nursing homes may try to hide mistakes they’ve made due to fear of losing their job. Many nursing home patients are already at high risk based on their age, health, and other things. In wrongful death lawsuits, nursing home lawyers might argue that it was a person’s already existing poor condition that caused their death.

If you think your loved one died a wrongful death in a nursing home, it’s advisable to get the help of a skilled Houston wrongful death attorney. Nursing homes are used to being sued and they are experienced at thwarting potential wrongful death claims.

What Can Cause Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?

Wrongful death in a nursing home can result from negligence or abuse by nursing home staff or even other patients. Here are some examples of incidents that can lead to death, and may result in wrongful death lawsuits:

•Falls – Falls are the leading cause of broken bones for nursing home patients. Falls often arise when nursing home staff don’t properly monitor residents or help them with activities such as standing, moving from bed to chair, and walking.
•Bedsores – Many elders cannot move easily on their own and may require help when shifting position in bed. Bedsores develop when people don’t get that help and stay in the same position for too long, putting pressure on skin. If left untreated, bedsores can cause serious and life-threatening infections.
•Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) – UTIs are common among nursing home residents. They occur when residents aren’t kept appropriately clean or when urinary catheters are unnecessarily or improperly placed. Untreated UTIs can lead to sepsis, which is a complication from infection that can cause organ failure and death.
•Negligent medication errors – In understaffed and busy nursing homes, workers sometimes mix up medications or give patients the wrong dosage. Nursing home doctors may prescribe the wrong medicine for an illness or condition. Sometimes patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s are intentionally overmedicated to keep them quiet and make them easier to control. This abuse is referred to as chemical restraint.
•Dehydration and malnutrition – Nursing home patients may be on feeding tubes, or they may need help feeding themselves. When tubes are not correctly inserted or workers don’t take enough time to help people eat or drink, malnutrition and dehydration can result.
•Intentional abuse – Physical violence, including sexual abuse, can lead to death in nursing homes. Nursing home staff or sometimes other nursing home residents might be to blame.

According to the National Council on Aging, seniors who are abused and neglected have a 300% higher chance of dying than those who are not mistreated. If you suspect a nursing home contributed to your family member’s death, speak to an experienced wrongful death law firm that handles nursing home cases right away.

Talk to the attorneys at Terry Bryant about a wrongful death claim by calling 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000. We are available to help 24/7.

Who Can Sue and Be Sued for Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?

In Texas, children, spouses, and parents can bring wrongful death lawsuits for negligence or abuse against nursing homes. The executor of the deceased person’s estate can bring a suit if family members don’t. In some cases, the executor can be a child, spouse, or parent.

Nursing home employees including nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, and other staff can be held liable in cases of negligence and abuse. Nursing home owners, administrators, managers, supervisors, and others who allow dangerous conditions to exist can also be held liable. Often, more than one party is named in nursing home wrongful death lawsuits.

What Compensation Can I Get in a Claim?

In a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit you may be able to get compensation for:

•Medical expenses, including doctor and hospital bills.
•Funeral and burial costs.
•Loss of services and support.
•Emotional pain and suffering.
•Exemplary damages in cases of gross negligence or abuse.

The amount of compensation you might get in a claim can also depend upon the skill of your attorney in examining the evidence and proving that negligence or abuse led to your loved one’s death. A lawyer who understands the legal complexities in nursing home cases can work toward getting you appropriate compensation. The lawyers at Terry Bryant can advise you more specifically based on the facts of your case. Call us now at 713-978-8888 to schedule your free consultation.

How Is Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home Proven?

To be successful in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that the nursing home’s negligence or abuse caused your loved one’s injury. You must then show that it was this injury that led to their death. Sometimes people suffer injuries that lead to hospitalization and they die in the hospital instead of in the nursing home. In other cases, an injury in a nursing home can cause a person’s health to deteriorate over time. Regardless, you must prove that the initial negligent injury directly led to the deterioration and death. Attorneys with experience handling nursing home cases are skilled at proving wrongful death.

Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Claims

In Texas, you generally have two years from the date of your family member’s death to bring a wrongful death claim. But every case is unique and there are some exceptions to this rule. It’s important to always speak directly to a wrongful death attorney to learn the exact deadlines that apply to your potential claim.

Our Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help You

Losing a family member to nursing home neglect or abuse is devastating. In addition to feeling grief, you may feel betrayed and angry because you trusted the facility to care for your loved one. Nursing homes shouldn’t be allowed to get away with causing wrongful death of vulnerable elderly adults. At the Terry Bryant law firm, our experienced nursing home wrongful death attorneys work compassionately with clients to help them get the compensation they deserve for the loss of their parent, spouse, or child in a nursing home. Call our Houston law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free consultation.

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