Death in a family is always a deeply sad and emotional time; however, nursing home deaths are often sudden and unexplained, which impacts the family in many ways, and is often more distressing than a loved one passing due to natural causes. In these circumstances, you have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but it can be hard to recognize if it’s the right choice.
If you’re confident your loved one’s death could have been avoided, it might be time to speak to a legal professional. We’ve put together a guide to help cover some of the common circumstances that occur where you should definitely file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you have significant experience in helping clients who have lost loved ones to nursing home death. Our offices are conveniently located in nearby Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person at our nearby offices, over the phone, or video call. You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.
To figure out how the nursing home you have chosen for your family is rated and to see if the home has any prior violations, check out our nursing home index. We’ve compiled all of the nursing homes in Arizona as well as their health code reports.
Additionally, take a look at our Nursing Home Glossary– an index of important words you need to know in a nursing home abuse case and their definitions.
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What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit case occurs when someone dies in a hospital or care home as a direct result of;
- Abuse or injury
- Obvious neglect eg. a person left in a soiled state or injured but unattended
- Absence during high-risk activities such as bathing
- Medication errors
- Health complications caused by things that could be avoided such as bedsores
- Violence between residents or staff
- Sexual assault
In these situations, death could easily be avoided if the residential home hadn’t allowed them to happen. These situations only happened as a direct result of someone else and could have been prevented, leaving families feeling completely helpless.
It can sometimes be tricky for families to know if they are entitled to filing a wrongful death lawsuit for nursing home death as the circumstances may be complex or information may be deliberately held back by the nursing home at the time of death.
If there is any potential that your loved one’s death could have been prevented or clearly avoided within the nursing home, you’re entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It can be difficult to understand the regulations around death in a care home setting so we would always recommend hiring an experienced attorney who can help with all aspects of your nursing home death lawsuit. A wrongful death attorney will work hard to represent you and your loved one and where possible, they will help to make legal changes to protect anyone else in the future.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit For a Nursing Home Death in Arizona?
The law in Arizona states that only the following direct relatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home within the same state:
- Spouse or partner,
- A child
- A surviving parent or legal guardian
- A sibling or relative who is legally associated with the estate
Arizona law means that carers and other health professionals can’t file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a resident, you’ll need to be a direct relative or have legal possession of their estate.
When Should You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If your family member lived in residential care in Arizona and subsequently died from unknown or preventable circumstances, you will have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit for their nursing home death from the date they passed away. It’s important to file the legal case within that time frame, as a case won’t be considered after two years.
Chances are if you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you’re already confident that something was seriously wrong before your family member died. If you’ve filed complaints or raised concerns about their welfare within the home before their death happened, there is every chance you have a strong case to file a wrongful death lawsuit for nursing home death.
What is the Outcome of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It’s important to remember that every wrongful death lawsuit has a slightly different outcome as every legal case is unique. There are ultimately two results; winning the lawsuit or not, but there are also varying levels of compensation and even a change in law that a family can expect from a successful outcome of a wrongful death lawsuit for nursing home death. Other compensation can include:
- Financial repayments to cover funeral costs, medication and other losses
- A change in the regulation or legislation for nursing homes
- Individual staff members prevented from working within the care sector
- Further financial compensation directly from the nursing home
The outcome of a wrongful death claim will depend on a few external factors but typically financial compensation is the most common result. From a legal perspective, an attorney may also be fighting for bigger changes in law or legislation to help protect others living in a nursing home from nursing home death, using the case as an opportunity to enforce change.
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Who can file a nursing home death claim?
Who is Held Responsible if I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Depending on the individual case, there may be a few different options when it comes to holding someone or an organization responsible for wrongful death. Residential homes will have liability insurance in place and their insurer will probably offer compensation to families, rather than sue an individual carer.
If you have any concerns about the circumstances your family member may have died in and they live within a nursing home setting, we would always suggest having an initial consultation with an attorney. It can sometimes be difficult to recognize when a death could have been prevented or even if there has been a fault that directly results in death which is why a legal representation can really help.
Hiring an attorney that specializes in wrongful death will help you and your family members seek justice for a loved one who shouldn’t have died when or how they did. Why not speak to one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys today and find out whether you have a legal case.
Our team of abuse attorneys is dedicated to seeking damages on behalf of those family members who are being abused and help you find better accommodations for them in the nearby area. We’ve worked on a number of nursing home abuse cases previously in your area and take the time to understand the family’s concerns as well as the situation they believe their loved one is in.
At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their loved one’s personal injuries, including nursing home death in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.
If you or a loved one has been the victim nursing home death, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.