Nursing homes should be a place where our loved ones can receive the care and medical treatment; they deserve in their twilight years. However, some nursing homes are happy to accept payment from their elderly residents and their family only to turn around and neglect or abuse the residents. As many residents of nursing homes are infirm or suffer from serious illnesses, being neglected by nursing home staff could cause them to pass away. If your family member died while in the care of a nursing home, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia nursing home wrongful death lawyer.
The Reiff Law Firm will help you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home that failed to properly care for your loved one. Dealing with the unexpected death of a family member can be a traumatizing experience, and our firm is here for you and your family. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Deaths
As frightening as it is to imagine, some nursing home employees will fail to provide their residents with the adequate care they need. Many of these employees are able to conceal this behavior because the victims of their actions cannot defend themselves or may have trouble communicating that an employee is mistreating them.
Eventually, grossly negligent employee behavior can cause an injury to a nursing home resident that they cannot recover from. The following is a list of common causes of nursing home deaths.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can encompass a wide range of malicious actions by nursing home employees. For example, an employee may physically abuse a resident because they believe a resident is not acting appropriately or simply for their own enjoyment. To hide their abuse of a resident, an employee may strike them in areas that are hard to notice or may try to explain away an injury as the result of a fall or some other reason.
Some employees may even try to psychologically or sexually abuse a nursing home resident. All these actions can contribute to the death of a resident who was already seriously ill.
It is common for residents of a nursing home to suffer from chronic illnesses that require the use of one or multiple prescription drugs. These drugs typically have to be taken on a strict timeframe to ensure that a resident’s condition does not worsen.
Unfortunately, some nursing home employees may neglect to keep residents on their medication schedules. For example, if a resident is on medication to treat blood clots, they can develop more blood clots if they do not receive their medication on time. If left untreated for a long period of time, blood clots can cause serious complications that result in death.
It is also possible that employees of a nursing home are using a resident’s medication for their own purposes. For example, they could be selling the medication or simply using it themselves.
The residents of nursing homes are typically completely reliant on their caretakers to provide them with meals. However, some residents may be denied from receiving a sufficient number of meals. Whether nursing home employees purposely or accidentally failed to provide a resident with food, they can be held liable for a resident’s malnutrition.
If it appears that your loved one was severely underweight when they passed away, this may indicate that they were starved or did not receive adequate meals.
There are many other reasons that can explain why your loved one died in the care of a nursing home. To learn more about filing a lawsuit for wrongful death, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your family member died due to the actions of a nursing home, you should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. One of the requirements for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is that the plaintiffs are close family members of the decedent. In Pennsylvania, a close family member is usually limited to spouses, parents, and children of the decedent.
To prove a wrongful death claim, you must show that negligence or misconduct by the nursing home was the cause of your family member’s death. You should also be aware that there is a filing deadline for wrongful death lawsuits in Pennsylvania. Specifically, you must file your case within two years of the date that your loved one passed away. This law is referred to as the statute of limitations.
If your case is not filed within two years, you may lose the opportunity to pursue a claim against the nursing home. However, there may be a way to delay the filing deadline depending on the details of your case.
Our Philadelphia Wrongful Death Attorneys are Here for You and Your Family
If your family member passed away due to the actions of a negligent nursing home, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia wrongful death attorney today. The legal team at The Reiff Law Firm has a wealth of experience litigating wrongful death lawsuits, and we would be proud to use this knowledge to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000.