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Can I Claim Wrongful Death Against a Nursing Home?

Can I Claim for Wrongful Death Against a Nursing Home?

When entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home, families expect that the facility will provide a safe and nurturing environment. Unfortunately, there are instances where nursing homes fail to meet their duty of care and may even abuse your loved one— leading to severe consequences, including the death of a resident. As wrongful death attorneys with offices in Braselton, Columbus, and Peachtree Corners, we work with our clients to help them understand connection between nursing home duty of care, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims.  This is an essential connection for families seeking justice and compensation for their loss, and a topic we will explore in this blog. 

Nursing Home neglignce causing death

Nursing Home Duty of Care

Under Georgia law, nursing homes are required to provide a standard of care that ensures the safety, health, and well-being of their residents. This includes adequate medical care, proper nutrition, hygiene, and protection from harm. The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) oversees the regulation of nursing homes and sets forth standards that these facilities must follow. When a nursing home fails to adhere to these standards, it can be held liable for negligence.

Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

Medical malpractice in nursing homes can take many forms, including improper administration of medication, failure to diagnose or treat medical conditions, and inadequate supervision leading to accidents or injuries. When such negligence results in the death of a resident, it constitutes wrongful death.

A wrongful death claim arises when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or omission of another. In the context of a nursing home, this could involve various forms of misconduct or negligence by the staff or facility. The surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their loss and hold the responsible parties accountable.

When to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim Against a Nursing Home

Families may need to consider a wrongful death claim against a nursing home under several circumstances:

  1. Neglect and Abuse: If the nursing home staff neglects the resident’s basic needs, leading to fatal outcomes, such as severe bedsores, malnutrition, or dehydration.
  2. Medical Negligence: When the facility fails to provide adequate medical care, such as timely medication or emergency response, resulting in the resident’s death.
  3. Accidents and Injuries: Inadequate supervision or unsafe conditions in the nursing home can lead to accidents, such as falls, which can be fatal for elderly residents.

Examples of Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

Example 1: Neglect Leading to Fatal Infections

Emily, an 85-year-old nursing home resident, developed severe bedsores due to the staff’s failure to regularly reposition her and maintain proper hygiene. Despite the family’s repeated complaints, the facility did not take appropriate action, leading to a severe infection. Emily passed away from complications related to the infection. Her family pursued a wrongful death claim against the nursing home for neglect and failure to provide adequate care.

Example 2: Medication Error

James, a 78-year-old resident, was prescribed a specific heart medication. Due to a mix-up in the nursing home’s pharmacy, he was given the wrong medication, which caused severe adverse effects and ultimately led to his death. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home for medical malpractice resulting from the medication error.

Example 3: Inadequate Supervision

Linda, a 90-year-old resident with dementia, wandered out of the nursing home due to inadequate supervision and security measures. She was found deceased a few days later from exposure. Her family sought legal recourse, filing a wrongful death claim against the nursing home for failing to provide a safe environment and proper supervision.

Legal Framework in Georgia

In Georgia, the law recognizes the right of family members to pursue a wrongful death claim under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2. This statute allows the surviving spouse, children, or parents to file a claim for the “full value of the life” of the deceased. Additionally, O.C.G.A. § 31-7-3.2 outlines the duties and responsibilities of nursing homes, emphasizing the importance of providing appropriate care and protection for residents.

Seek Justice and Compensation with Cheves Briceno

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a nursing home, it is crucial to seek experienced legal representation. At Cheves Briceno, our wrongful death lawyers are committed to helping families navigate the complexities of these cases. With offices in Braselton, Peachtree Corners, and Columbus, we serve families across Georgia, providing compassionate and dedicated legal support.

Our medical malpractice and wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no legal fees unless we win your case. We offer confidential consultations to discuss your situation and explore your legal options. Contact Cheves Briceno today for a confidential wrongful death consultation. Let us help you seek justice for your loved one and hold the responsible parties accountable.

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