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10 Causes of Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths

How Nursing Homes Are Responsible for the Wrongful Deaths of Residents Under Their Care

A nursing home is a place where we send our elderly loved ones to receive top-quality, professional care as they might need attention 24/7 that we simply cannot provide ourselves due to a variety of reasons. Our elders deserve proper attention and care at all times of day, and we hope that these nursing home facilities would do just that. However, there have been many cases of elder abuse and wrongful death at the hands of nursing home staff and facilitators via negligence and malice.

If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death in a nursing home, you have the right to file a complaint to receive compensation for your losses. Below, our kind and compassionate team of expert wrongful death attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down the causes of wrongful deaths in a nursing home and the legal implications of such a case.

10 Causes of Nursing Home Wrongful Death

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The most common causes of a wrongful death in a nursing home include the following.

  • Insufficient staff. Nursing homes in the state of California are legally required to provide at least 3.2 hours of care and attention to every resident in the facility a day. They are required to hire as much staff as necessary to provide such care. However, many times, nursing homes don’t follow this regulation and are severely understaffed, meaning that many residents don’t get the attention they are legally obligated to receive. This can lead to negligent actions being inflicted on residents, which can result in a wrongful death.
  • Untrained staff. Even when a nursing home might have enough staff to meet the legal requirements of providing 3.2 hours of care per patient, oftentimes, not all staff members are properly trained. Untrained staff may incorrectly take care of nursing home patients, which can cause a multitude of different problems.
  • Neglect. Negligence is the main cause of nursing home wrongful death cases. Each nursing home patient is owed a duty of care under the nursing home facility and staff. When staff members or facilitators breach their duty of care by not providing patients and residents with the proper care and attention that they need, this negligence can lead to injuries or death. Some examples of neglect and negligence include the following:
    • Not providing the minimum 3.2 hours of care a day to patients.
    • Not bathing the elders.
    • Not assisting the elders when they need to use the restroom.
    • Not providing food, water, medication, or adequate care.
  • Lack of accident prevention. Not taking the proper precautions, actions, and protocols to prevent accidents from happening in a nursing home is a form of negligence that may result in a wrongful death. If a staff member places proper signages or offers assistance, it could prevent a slip and fall injury or death from occurring.
  • Medication errors. Providing the wrong medication to a patient is a form of negligence on behalf of the medication administrator or staff member who is in charge of providing the appropriate medication to the resident. It is their responsibility to ensure that each resident gets their prescribed medication dosages and that they are taken correctly. Giving a resident the wrong medication or medication dosage can lead to a wrongful death.
  • Willful deprivation. Willful deprivation is the refusal to provide patients with the care that they need. This occurs when staff or facilitators willingly deprive or refuse to provide their residents with proper medication, food, water, meals, bathing, therapy, and any other feature of care that is essential to their health and well-being.
  • Physical abuse. Sadly, some staff members physically abuse nursing home residents out of pure cruelty, or to get them to comply with them. They might physically abuse them by treating them roughly when providing care, such as  forceful grabbing, pushing, pinching, slapping, and punching.
  • Sexual abuse. It’s horrifying to think that sexual abuse from staff to residents occurs in nursing homes. Unfortunately, this situation does happen under the care of nurses. Some staff or facilitators might take advantage of the fact that those under their care might be too weak to fight them off or too scared to speak up about it. Some forms of sexual abuse include groping, touching, and violating.
  • Psychological abuse. While psychological abuse might be more challenging to identify, it also occurs in nursing homes from staff to residents. This form of abuse can be paired with verbal abuse that humiliates, torments, and shames residents. Some examples of this abuse include yelling, criticizing, and taunting.
  • Resident to resident abuse. Sometimes, residents of nursing homes might find issues with one another. However, it is the duty of the staff and facilitators to ensure a welcomed stay for all of their residents. They are also expected to de-escalate and prevent resident to resident issues that can become abusive and potentially lead to a wrongful death. If nursing home staff members or facilitators do nothing to impede the issues between residents, then this will be considered as a form of negligence on their behalf.

Need a Wrongful Death Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

Get the compensation that you deserve! Our skilled team of wrongful death attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for damages, which include medical bills, property damage, and more. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.


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