As the elderly population in the United States grows, the number of adults entering nursing care facilities and assisted living communities is also on the rise. To accommodate this accelerated need for these facilities, the nursing home industry has expanded rapidly. Unfortunately, this growth has resulted in many facilities being either unstaffed or having employees without adequate training or experience.
However, even though the industry is growing, this does not excuse a nursing home from having unsafe living conditions for every resident. Therefore, when a patient dies due to substandard care, this can be the grounds for filing a wrongful death claim on the basis of negligence.
If your loved one passed away due to abuse or neglect, our experienced lawyers will sue the nursing home for the wrongful death. We will review the medical records and reports and file a lawsuit for your family.
Medical Causes of Michigan Nursing Home Deaths
- Infections, such as sepsis: The elderly are at an increased risk for developing sepsis, which is a life-threatening sickness. The nursing home staff must look out for signs of sepsis or other infections, and notify the treating doctor so that treatment can be promptly provided. When they do not, they can be held liable for the death of the resident.
- Dehydration and malnutrition: When the elderly are not properly cared for in nursing facilities, they often show signs of dehydration and malnutrition. This is often due to nursing homes being understaffed and failing to provide the proper diet and nourishment needed.
- Medication errors, including the wrong dosing of medications or giving the wrong medication: The improper administration of medicines and drugs by the nursing staff can have deadly results for a resident.
- Untreated bedsores and pressure sores: Nursing home residents can develop pressure ulcers when they are not regularly turned and re-positioned by the staff. Life-threatening complications can arise from bedsores, including osteomyelitis, and sepsis, and other infections.
- Choking and asphyxiation: Residents can die from being fed the wrong food or not properly supervised during a meal when they have a swallowing order, such as dysphagia.
- Legionnaire’s Disease: This disease is a type of bacterial pneumonia. Legionnaire’s disease is highly contagious and spreads mainly through water droplets where water has gathered for some time, like in air conditioning systems. When this happens, the disease spreads quickly and can threaten the lives of many in a nursing home.
Deadly Accidents in Nursing Facilities
Understaffing and inexperience are common reasons for fatal accidents in Michigan nursing homes. This results in negligence that can lead to:
- Falls from bed, chairs, or toilets: Falls often occurs during transfers or when a patient attempts to get out of bed because the staff does not respond to a resident call light. A serious fall can cause a fatal injury or result in a hip fracture that ultimately causes the demise of the resident.
- Elopement and wandering from the facility: Due to dementia and other issues, residents leave the nursing home due to poor supervision and can die due to weather conditions or being struck by a vehicle.
- Bedrail entanglement: Residents can suffer fatal strangulation injuries from their neck and throat being wedged between the mattress and a bedrail or side rail.
- Burn injuries: a resident can get burned by hot liquids or by a hot water in a bath or shower. Fires in a facility can also cause death.
The bar chart below shows the distribution of accidental death types in the state of Michigan in 2017. Falls account for the second-highest number of accidental deaths, and is more common than death from a motor vehicle accident.
Nursing home falls often result in direct trauma to the head and skull, which can cause an inter-cranial bleed, commonly referred to as a subdural hematoma or brain bleed. Subdural hematomas (SDH) often happen when blood vessels burst in the space between the brain and the outermost membrane that covers the brain.
Acute subdural hematomas are among the most lethal of head injuries, with a mortality rate of between 50-90%. Roughly 30% of fatal head injuries include an acute subdural hematoma and many lead to death.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the Nursing Home?
If your family member died due to negligence at a skilled nursing facility, you can file a wrongful death case. To win your lawsuit, our attorneys will prove that the death was preventable with proper care, treatment, and supervision. We will hire the top medical experts, including doctors, and nurses, to prove your case.
How much are Nursing Home Death Settlements & Verdicts?
Nursing home death lawsuits demand compensation for the pain and suffering of the decedent from the time of incident until death and for the loss of companionship by the family. In addition, settlements include payment of medical bills and funeral and burial expenses.
Our attorneys have won substantial settlements in these cases. We also won the highest every jury verdict in Michigan for an assisted living death lawsuit. The jury awarded the family over $ 5 million at trial for a resident who died due to improper supervision and negligent care.
How a Lawyer Can Help After a Nursing Home Death
While no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, filing a claim can help to provide a sense of justice and closure during this difficult time. These cases also help to prevent other tragic deaths in the future.
Our award-winning nursing home neglect lawyers will work tirelessly and sue for most compensation allowable under the law. There are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement check. Contact us today and we will start working on your case immediately.
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