5 Examples of Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases


The decision to move a loved one into a nursing home facility can be difficult and heartrending. Sometimes, however, such a decision is necessary to ensure your loved one will receive the level of care they need to live out the remainder of their life safely and comfortably. 

Unfortunately, instead of enjoying positive experiences and higher quality of life, some nursing home residents may suffer untimely and wrongful deaths. When nursing home negligence causes the untimely death of a family member or loved one, many families consider taking legal action against the facility. Suing a nursing home for wrongful death can help to provide the family with some level of closure and recompense for their loss. Nursing home wrongful death settlements may include monetary damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, and even pain and suffering.

Read on to learn about five common examples of wrongful death cases in nursing homes. 

5 Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim Examples

The untimely death of a resident due to negligence can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit against nursing home management, owners, or staff. A nursing home has the duty to protect its residents from harm.

Most wrongful death nursing home settlements result from one of the five common causes of wrongful death in nursing homes listed below. 

1. Deaths Due to Nursing Home Falls

Falls are a significant concern in healthcare. Such incidents occur when elderly nursing home residents, who often suffer from limited mobility and balance issues, endure accidental falls within the nursing home environment. Unfortunately, such falls can result in severe injuries, head trauma, broken bones, long-term disabilities, or even fatalities.

Most nursing home falls are preventable. Preventing falls requires a comprehensive approach that must include staff training, environmental modifications, and individualized care plans. Implementing measures such as regular assessments of residents' mobility, installing safety features like handrails and non-slip flooring, and enhancing staff-to-resident ratios can significantly reduce the risk of falls.

Because they are so often preventable, deaths due to nursing home falls can be a sign of nursing home negligence.

2. Deaths Due to Medication Errors

Medication errors can occur in any healthcare environment. Minor errors are inevitable, but residents of nursing homes and their families should not have to worry about significant or even fatal errors in medication administration.

Medication is typically administered by licensed nursing home staff, who often deliver medication to multiple residents at a time or in a row. It requires a good deal of time and diligence to ensure the correct dosage of the correct medication is given to the correct resident.

Some common medication errors include:

  • Giving a patient the wrong medication
  • Incorrect documentation of medication
  • Providing expired medications
  • Giving the wrong form, dose, or strength of the medication
  • Giving medication at the wrong time or rate
  • Failing to observe the resident after they receive medication
  • Medication diversion or mismanagement

3. Deaths Due to Infections From Pressure Ulcers (Bedsores)

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur due to prolonged pressure on the skin. Elderly nursing home residents, especially those who are immobile, wheelchair-bound, or bedridden, are at high risk for developing bedsores because they are often unable to reposition themselves. 

Bedsores increase the sufferer's risk of bacterial infections that may cause sepsis, require limb amputation, or prove fatal. According to the Cleveland Clinic, bedsores cause the deaths of more than 24,000 people worldwide every year. These deaths may result from bacteria in the bloodstream, bone or joint infections, or various Group A streptococcus infections. 

These pressure sores are avoidable, and it is the responsibility of nursing home staff to take the necessary precautions to prevent the facility's residents from developing them.

4. Deaths Due to Improper Medical Care

Often, when residents enter nursing homes, they have pre-existing health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and so on. These patients require a care plan to manage their symptoms and prevent the progression of their illnesses. Without diligent oversight, these and other pre-existing conditions can increase the risk of a resident's wrongful death.

Other examples of improper medical care in a nursing home environment can include medical neglect, untreated infections, malnutrition, and dehydration, all of which are preventable with proper staff training, facility management, and patient care. 

5. Deaths Due to Elder Abuse

Unfortunately, some nursing home residents fall victim to physical abuse, either by staff members or by other residents. Residents may not always report abuse, even to loved ones, for fear of retribution by their abusers. Some examples of abuse red flags can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Unexplained cuts, bruises, scrapes, or other injuries
  • Dirty or unkempt appearance
  • Fear of nursing home staff
  • Refused visits or restrictive caregivers

Wrongful death can occur in a nursing home due to physical abuse, especially when the victim endures significant head injuries. 

What To Do If a Nursing Home Resident You Knew Was a Victim of a Wrongful Death

If your loved one suffered a wrongful death while living in a nursing home, you may consider filing a wrongful death nursing home lawsuit to seek compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and pain and suffering. Nursing home wrongful death settlement amounts can vary widely depending on the severity of the case. It is in your best interest to consult with a wrongful death attorney who is well-versed in nursing home wrongful death cases, and who can help you seek the maximum amount of punitive damages from the nursing home.

When these claims make it to trial, nursing home wrongful death verdicts tend to fall on the side of the party that provides the more persuasive evidence. An experienced attorney will help you build the most convincing case possible to seek justice for your loved one.

A Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You Seek Justice

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of the facility responsible for their care, the experienced nursing home wrongful death attorneys at Moore Law can give you the legal support you need to seek the justice and compensation you and your family deserve. Contact Moore Law to speak with a seasoned wrongful death attorney today.

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If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.