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Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes – A Neglected Dark Side of the Society

Wrongful Death AttorneyEach year, an estimated 98,000 deaths of the American citizens occur due to wrongful deaths in nursing homes. Most of the medical errors in these casualties are preventable. The Institute of Medicine claims that every one out of five medical errors possesses serious or fatal risks.

Wrongful death is a term used in the legal dictionary. It refers to a casualty occurred by a preventable conduct of another person or institution. In a majority of the wrongful death lawsuits, the charges are filed based on nursing home neglect or abuse. It may involve elderly misconduct or behavior, which results in an avoidable death.

Types of Damages in Lawsuit

In wrongful death lawsuit, the common types of damages like physical damage ad injury are not filed. The survivors of the deceased can claim the damages including economic, punitive, and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

These include the final expenditure on the victim as well as the contributions of the victim to the life of the survivor, had the victim not die.

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of benefits including medical coverage and pension
  • The cost of goods and services contributed by the victim
  • Loss of the expected earnings of the victim
  • Loss of inheritance due to untimely death

Non-Economic Damages

Most of the emotional damages of the survivors are listed in this category.

  • Loss of love and security
  • Suffering
  • Loss of consortium, if the spouse is deceased
  • Loss of guidance, nurturing, training, advice, etc

Punitive Damages

The misconduct or bad behavior of the charged person is awarded to the survivors of the deceased as punitive damages. In some states, punitive damages are not awarded at all. However, the jury may decide to compensate these damages, depending on the situation.

The damages are calculated by adding the economical and non-economical damages outside the home and the services and contributions of the deceased inside the home.

Suing for Wrongful Death

People who can sue for wrongful death are called the real parties in interest.

  • Immediate family members can sue the fatal nursing home in all states. These include parents of the unmarried child, and spouse and children of the deceased.
  • Siblings and grandparents, living in some other state, can also sue for the wrongful death of their loved one.
  • Putative spouses, or people who were legally married with the deceased, can sue. Life partners and financial dependants can sue for limited damages.
  • Anyone who suffered the financial damages due to the wrongful death can sue.

Wrongful death in nursing home represents a neglected dark side of the society. A successful lawsuit may not fill the gap left by the deceased but it can make the fatal nursing home careful and save more lives. The calculation of the damages requires legal guidance. Attorneys and financial advisors are helpful in this regard.

Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. at 815-209-9030 or online for further information, guidance and a free consultation.