The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. Most people wish that they did not have to move their elderly or disabled loved one out of their home and into a long-term care facility, but they often do not have another choice. Nursing homes are filled with residents who need more extensive medical care and help with daily living tasks than a family member could handle on their own.
Many nursing home residents are quite frail, and when nursing home staff do not properly care for the residents or meet their medical needs, the results can be deadly. If your loved one passed away while staying in a nursing home and you believe the death was due to negligence or abuse, do not hesitate to contact a qualified nursing home abuse injury lawyer for help.
When is a Nursing Home Death a Wrongful Death?
Because many nursing home residents are elderly or in poor health when they arrive at the facility, it is not surprising that many residents pass away while staying in the facility. Consequently, it can sometimes be difficult to know if a loved one’s death was preventable or not. The term “wrongful death” refers to deaths that happen as a result of the negligent or intentionally harmful acts of another. The Wrongful Death Act in the Illinois Complied Statutes technically defines a wrongful death as a death resulting from “a wrongful act, neglect or default.” This means that a nursing home staff member’s action or inaction may be to blame for the death of a resident. Other times, it is the nursing home facility itself that is the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Understanding Duty of Care
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have a legal obligation to provide competent care to residents. In order to bring a successful wrongful death against a nursing home, you and your legal counsel will need to prove three things. Firstly, you must establish that the nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care. This means that your loved one was an official resident of the nursing home formally under the care of nursing home staff. Secondly, you must prove that the facility failed to uphold the duty of care owed to your loved one through a negligent, reckless, or criminal act. Lastly, you will need to show evidence that this breach of duty was the reason your loved one passed away.
Contact a Cook County Wrongful Death Attorney
A wrongful death lawsuit can hold a nursing home accountable for its deplorable actions while providing your family with compensation for damages. To learn more, contact an experienced Chicago nursing home wrongful death lawyer from Schwartz Injury Law. Call us today at 312-535-4625 to schedule a free initial consultation.