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10 Causes of Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths

Nursing homes are places 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 so many different reasons. We send our elders to nursing homes because we love them and know that they deserve proper attention and care at all times of day, and we hope that these nursing home facilities would do that. However, unfortunately 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 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 nursing home wrongful deaths and the legal implications of such a case. 

10 Causes of Nursing Home Wrongful Death

Nursing home wrongful deaths happen for many different reasons that range from neglice to mal intent on behalf of the nursing home facilitators and staff. Here are ten common causes of wrongful death in nursing homes: 

  • 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 receive the attention they are legally obligated to receive. This can lead to negligence of residence and can result in their 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 can lead to the mishandling of nursing home patients, which can cause a multitude of different problems that can cause wrongful death. 
  • Neglect. Negligence is a 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 accidents and/or wrongful 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 them or assisting them to use the restroom; not providing water, food, medication or adequate care; neglecting to ensure their safety, and more. 
  • 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 can cause wrongful death. For example, not providing the proper signage or assistance that could prevent a slip and fall can cause a resident to sustain severe injuries that could lead to wrongful death. 
  • Medication errors. Providing the wrong medication to a patient is a form of negligence on behalf of the medication administrator or staff member who assists the resident to take their medication. It is their responsibility to ensure that each resident gets their prescribed medication dosages only and that they are taken in a safe manner. Giving a resident the wrong medication or the wrong dosage or forcing them to take medication under unsafe circumstances can be dangerous and lead to 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 their proper medications, food, water, meals, bathing, therapy, and any other feature of care that is essential to their health and well-being. Depriving them of these needs can lead to wrongful death. 
  • 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 (grabbing too hard, too forcefully), pushing, pinching, slapping, punching, or more. 
  • Sexual abuse. It’s horrifying to think that sexual abuse from staff to residents occurs in nursing homes, but it sometimes does as well. Some staff or facilitators might take advantage of the fact that the elderly people under their care might be too weak to fight them off or too scared to speak up about it. Forms of sexual abuse include groping, touching, violating, and more. 
  • 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, taunting, and more. 
  • Resident to resident abuse. Sometimes, residents of nursing homes might find issues with one another. However, it is the duty of the staff and of the facilitators to ensure a welcome stay for all of their residents and to de-escalate and prevent resident to resident issues that can become abusive and lead to wrongful death. If nursing home staff members or facilitators do nothing to impede the issues between residents, this is 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 experienced team of wrongful death attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you cover medical bills as they come in and ensure that you receive compensation for all of your losses by negotiating with the insurance companies and/or filing a lawsuit if needed. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.


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