San Francisco Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claims
The death of a patient in a nursing home or other care facility is a common occurrence. However, when that death is the result of abuse or neglect, it is not an ordinary event, but something that requires investigation and aggressive legal action. The nursing home must be held accountable. However, filing a San Francisco nursing home wrongful death claim often requires the skill and knowledge of a dedicated attorney.
Our legal team undertakes wrongful death actions on behalf of families whose loved ones died because of negligence or neglect while residing in a care facility. With more than 30 years of legal experience, we handle these often-complex legal matters, seeking compensation for the families and justice for the victims.
Causes of Nursing Home Fatalities
We consult with a wide range of experts who help us identify the negligence and determine how it led to the fatality. We work with medical specialists, safety experts and licensing professionals to build strong cases against nursing homes, residential rehab facilities, board and care homes, and other organizations that care for elderly patients. We file wrongful death cases for families whose loved ones died as a result of:
- Bedsores and infections
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Overmedication or under-medication
- Failure to monitor
- Transfer injuries
When events such as these lead to the death of the patient, responsible parties need to be held liable. Our Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo & San Francisco lawyers understand the sensitivity of such matters and know that families need time to grieve. We also know that only aggressive, prompt and knowledgeable legal action will raise awareness of the negligence with which many nursing homes operate and help prevent further wrongful deaths. Our law firm guides clients through the legal process with care while pursing their wrongful death claims effectively.
When is a Nursing Home Negligent?
Nursing homes may be held liable for negligence for a number of reasons. If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you must show that four basic elements were present:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty
The first element is relatively easy to prove, as all nursing homes owe their patients an obvious duty of care. They are expected to provide a safe, clean and comfortable environment for seniors in their care.
You also need to show that they breached their duty of care in some way. For example, they might have failed to check on a nursing home resident, leading to the development of bedsores and eventual death. Or perhaps they provided a senior with the wrong medicine – or failed to give them any medication whatsoever. These mistakes can also be fatal. Allowing facilities to be understaffed can also be considered a breach of duty, and this can lead to fatal mistakes.
Causation is another important element of proving negligence. Essentially, this means that you need to show that the nursing home’s breach of duty led directly to the senior’s death. Some acts of negligence clearly lead to death. For example, a staff member might provide a senior with the wrong medication, causing them to have an allergic reaction and pass away.
In other situations, the senior might have died due to circumstances that are not clearly related to any particular act of negligence. For example, an understaffed facility might have failed to spot a fall hazard that eventually caused a senior to slip down a staircase and die. Causation is still present in this situation, although it might require more work from an attorney to establish a clear link between the negligence and the senior’s passing.
Proving damages is easy in a wrongful death lawsuit, because no one can dispute the fact that the victim has lost their life.
How Much Money Can You Recover in a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Even though the victim may be long gone, the family can still benefit from a financial settlement after winning a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home. Although each case is different, many families can win considerable amounts of money. This money may not bring your loved one back, but it can certainly provide you with a sense of justice and closure as you deal with this traumatic incident.
But how exactly are wrongful death lawsuits calculated? First of all, you can receive compensation for economic damages your family might have incurred as a result of this incident. For example, your senior might have been left with injuries due to the negligence of their nursing home, and these injuries may have required considerable medical treatment before the senior’s ultimate passing. In many cases, seniors are hospitalized for months or even years before they pass away, and this can leave families with steep medical expenses to pay.
A wrongful death lawsuit can provide you with enough money to cover these debts, allowing you to move forward with your life and grieve without unnecessary financial burdens.
In addition, you can receive compensation for funeral costs after winning a wrongful death lawsuit. This allows you to honor your deceased loved one with the necessary expenditures and without worrying about financial limitations.
These lawsuits may also provide compensation for non-economic damages that your family might have suffered due to the passing of a loved one. It goes without saying that losing a family member can be an incredibly traumatic and harrowing experience, especially when you know for a fact their death was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Examples of Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuits
What does a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit actually look like?
Here are a few examples:
A senior walks into the nursing home cafeteria and slips on a wet floor. He suffers a fractured hip and is transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. The patient suffers an infection due to the fractured hip, and this infection eventually claims his life. His family sues the nursing home for negligence, claiming that they should have been more careful in keeping their floors free from fall hazards. They subsequently receive a considerable settlement that helps them cover unpaid hospital bills, funeral costs, and non-economic damages.
Another example might involve a bed-ridden senior who needs to be moved every few hours to prevent bedsores from forming. Staff may fail to check on the senior regularly, causing bedsores to form. The bedsores become infected, causing the senior to pass away. The family successfully sues, claiming that the facility was understaffed and its staff was under-trained, showing a gross disregard for the seniors in its care.
Schedule a Consultation for Help with Filing a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim in San Francisco
Losing your loved one is always difficult. However, if a nursing facility is to blame, you could pursue a nursing home wrongful death claim in San Francisco.