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Why Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuits are Becoming More Common

Mar 31, 2022 - Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

Delegating the care of someone you love to the staff of a nursing home requires significant trust. When that trust is betrayed, resulting in the death of your loved one, you are left grief-stricken and with feelings of betrayal. While we know that nothing can replace the void your loved one leaves behind, our attorneys can help hold those that caused their nursing home wrongful death accountable. 

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse occurs when a resident of a nursing home facility suffers psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual harm due to the intentional acts of their caretakers. It can also occur when nursing home residents fail to have their basic needs met, such as food, water, shelter, medicine, and hygiene. 

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes is a significant problem. In a 2021 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), it was reported that 2 out of 3 staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities reported committing abuse in the prior year. 

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

There are signs that often indicate a nursing home resident has suffered or is currently suffering from abuse or neglect. They include:

  • Weight loss or other signs of malnutrition
  • Withdrawal or refusal to speak around caregivers
  • Unexplained wounds, injuries, or bruises
  • Unkempt appearance (such as dirty clothes)
  • Signs of restraint (such as bruises around wrists)
  • Changes in behavior
  • Increase in anxiety

Resulting Injuries from Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When the resident of a nursing home has suffered injuries due to abuse and neglect, it often results in the following injuries:

  • Broken Bones: There should be safety procedures in place to prevent nursing home resident’s from having their bones broken. Frequent fractures or broken bones may be indicative that these procedures are not in place. 
  • Bedsores: Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are a result of blood supply not being able to reach a certain area of the skin. The lack of blood causes that area of skin to die and left untreated, a sore forms which can then open and become infected. 
  • Shortened Life Expectancy: A shortened life expectancy is often the result of nursing home abuse and neglect. By failing to provide the resident with the consistent care they need or inflicting them with harm, the staff of a nursing home may cause the resident to pass away more quickly than they otherwise would have,

How Life Expectancy is Calculated in a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Case

Life expectancy is calculated using a life table that is appropriate for the deceased. This table is then used with a formula that takes into consideration the deceased’s age, sex, and race. This formula also accounts for any risk factors that would have had an impact on the deceased’s life span had they not suffered the abuse or neglect that led to their death. This would include:

  • Whether or not the deceased was a smoker
  • The weight of the deceased
  • Any other health condition that would have affected the deceased’s life expectancy

Once the calculation has been made, that number is then used to help determine the number of years that were robbed from your loved one.

The calculation used is actually very complicated, but a nursing home wrongful death lawyer can help determine what your loved one’s life expectancy would have been.

Restitution from a Nursing Home Wrongful Death

If your loved one’s life was ended prematurely by the abuse or neglect they suffered while living in a nursing home, you may be able to recover the following:

  • Economic Damages: Economic damages include funeral costs, medical costs, and the loss of the decedent’s income. These types of damages are easily proven. 
  • Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages include compensation for loss of companionship and grief that you have suffered.

Talk With a Wrongful Death Lawyer at Drake, Hileman, & Davis

Losing a loved one is never easy, but knowing their life was shortened due to the abuse or neglect of others makes coping with their death even more difficult. Speak with a nursing home wrongful death lawyer at our firm to learn how we can help you recover the compensation you are due. For your convenience, we have five offices located in Stroudsburg, Bethlehem, Allentown, Easton, and Doylestown.  We may be reached at 888-777-7098 or via our contact page.

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