You Can Hold the Nursing Home Responsible for Your Loved One’s Death
Florida law specifically allows wrongful death claims in cases of nursing home neglect. No amount of money can ease the emotional pain of your loss, but a wrongful death claim can compensate your family for financial losses.
Steve Watrel, Elder Abuse attorney has years of experience supporting families like yours during this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, or keep reading to learn more about wrongful death claims after nursing home neglect.
What Causes Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes?
Negligence or intentional harm by nursing home staff, doctors, administrators, and orderlies can often cause death. To prove that nursing home neglect caused the wrongful death, you must prove that they had a legal duty to care for the deceased and that the negligent actions led to the death. This negligence allows the surviving family to file a wrongful death suit.
The most common causes of wrongful death in nursing homes are:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Failure to report such abuse
- Injury caused by negligence
- Failure to break up resident violence
- Negligence of healthcare needs
- Medication errors
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of illness
Any time the death could have been avoided by reasonable action of the nursing home, a wrongful death claim may be warranted.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim for Nursing Home Neglect?
Section 400.023 lays out who can file a wrongful death claim, who can be held liable, and what damages can be claimed. The first section of this law states that a wrongful death action can be brought by the resident’s legal guardian, an organization acting on their behalf, or a personal representative of the estate of the deceased resident.
This differs from other states in which one must be a direct surviving relative to file a wrongful death claim. While this does apply to some wrongful death claims in Florida, it does not apply in cases of nursing home neglect.
What Damages Can I Get in a Wrongful Death Claim for Nursing Home Neglect?
The state of Florida requires the claimant to choose between survival damages or wrongful death damages. Survival damages are the damages that would have been received by the resident had they lived, paid to the survivors of the resident.
Per Section 768.21 compensation for wrongful death may include:
- Lost support and services
- Future loss of support and services
- Loss of companionship
- Mental pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of prospective accumulations of an estate
Some of these depend on who is filing the claim. A spouse, child, or parent can get compensation for mental pain and suffering, for example.
You Have a Limited Time to File Your Wrongful Death Claim
According to Section 95.11(4)(e), the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is two years from the date of death. This is important because if you do not file your wrongful death claim before that two-year mark you lose your ability to get any type of compensation. It takes time to file your claim, with a process that includes a free consultation, full discovery, team approach, proven case ready for trial, and filing your claim going to trial if needed.
You need to act quickly by contacting an attorney familiar with nursing home neglect and the resulting wrongful death claims. Our firm has more than 30 years of experience handling nursing home neglect and wrongful death claims against nursing homes. Contact us today for a free consultation.