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Can You Sue a Nursing Home For Wrongful Death?

A black and white photograph capturing the profiles of three elderly women seated in a row inside a nursing home.

The loss of a loved one is always devastating, but when that loss occurs in a nursing home due to negligence or abuse, it can be particularly traumatic. We want to trust nursing home staff and administrators to provide the best possible care for our loved ones. Unfortunately, many nursing facilities fall short when providing quality care for elderly residents. In some cases, this lack of adequate care can lead to a resident's wrongful death.

Families often wonder if they can hold the facility accountable through legal action. The short answer is yes, you can sue a nursing home for wrongful death, but the process of filing a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit involves several important considerations. An experienced Georgia nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at Johnson Greer Law Group in Decatur can help you explore your potential legal options and determine if you're eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Here's what you should know.

What constitutes wrongful death in a nursing home?

Wrongful death in a nursing home occurs when a resident dies due to the negligence, abuse, or misconduct of the nursing facility or its staff. This can include deaths resulting from:

  • Falls due to inadequate supervision or unsafe conditions.
  • Medication errors.
  • Neglect leading to bedsores, malnutrition, or dehydration.
  • Infections from poor sanitation.
  • Physical abuse from staff or other residents.
  • Failure to provide timely medical care.
  • Choking incidents due to improper feeding.

Who can file a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit?

In Georgia, those who can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home typically include:

  • The surviving spouse of the deceased resident.
  • If there is no surviving spouse, the children of the deceased resident.
  • If there are no surviving spouses or children, the parents of the deceased resident.
  • If none of the above exist, the administrator or executor of the deceased resident's estate.

Proving wrongful death in nursing homes

To prove negligence, you must establish four elements:

  • The nursing home had a duty of care to the resident.
  • The facility breached this duty.
  • The breach directly caused the resident's death.
  • The death resulted in damages to the surviving family members.

Proving these four criteria requires a thorough investigation into your loved one's death and the nursing facility's staff and administrative practices. Our nursing home negligence attorneys can gather evidence that supports all of the above, including medical records, witness testimonies, expert opinions, and documentation of the nursing facility's policies and procedures.

How are nursing home wrongful death settlements calculated?

Every wrongful death case is different, but if your loved one died in a Georgia nursing home due to negligence, your family may be eligible to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses related to your loved one's death.
  • Funeral and burial costs.
  • Loss of the deceased's future income.
  • Loss of companionship and support.
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before death.

At Johnson Greer Law Group, some of our notable case results include:

  • $325,000 for a nursing home wrongful death victim.
  • $300,000 for elder abuse and wrongful death.

How to protect your loved ones in nursing homes

First and foremost, it's important to maintain regular communication and visitations with your loved one. Secondly, pay attention to any potential signs that indicate abuse and/or neglect. These include:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or welts.
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers.
  • Sudden weight loss or malnutrition.
  • Poor personal hygiene or unsanitary living conditions.
  • Untreated medical conditions.
  • Unexplained infections.
  • Frequent falls or injuries.
  • Fearful behavior, especially around certain staff members.
  • Sudden changes in behavior or mood.
  • Physical restraints used unnecessarily.

If you recognize these signs, act fast to protect your loved one. Call emergency services or law enforcement immediately and have them removed from that facility right away. You can report the suspected abuse or neglect to the Georgia Department of Community Health's Healthcare Facility Regulation Division online or by calling 1-800-878-6442. You can also report anonymously if you prefer.

When reporting, try to provide as much detailed information as possible, including:

  • Name and location of the nursing home.
  • Name of the resident(s) involved.
  • Description of the abuse or neglect.
  • Names of any potential witnesses.
  • Any evidence you may have (photos, documents, etc.).

Johnson Greer Law Group can help your family demand justice

While the decision to sue a nursing home for wrongful death is deeply personal, it can hold negligent facilities accountable and potentially prevent similar incidents from happening to other residents in the future. However, it's important to act fast; the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Georgia is two years from the date of your loved one's death.

The caring and compassionate attorneys at Johnson Greer Law Group in Decatur, Georgia, can guide you through the legal process. With a strong track record of success and dedication to fighting for nursing home neglect victims, our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources to investigate your case thoroughly, confront negligent facilities, and pursue the justice your family deserves.

Contact us online or call us today to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. We'll listen to your concerns, explain your legal options, and help you make informed decisions about how to move forward.

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