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Not surprisingly given the weakened state of many residents of nursing homes and other supervised care facilities, many cases of abuse and neglect result in the death of the resident. Wrongful death can occur from any health condition that resulted from the negligence or deliberate actions of the nursing home, including physical or sexual abuse, medication errors, malnutrition and/or dehydration, the injuries suffered in falls, injuries suffered after the resident wandered away from the facility, and bed sores that reach advanced stages.
At Knapp & Roberts, a Phoenix nursing home wrongful death attorney cannot erase the tragedy of a wrongful death, but we want to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, the abuse and neglect might not be discovered until after the death of the resident, when the coroner reports the autopsy findings. The resident’s death does not relieve the nursing home from responsibility, of course. That would allow the nursing home to benefit from the very wrong that it committed. Instead, Arizona (like every other state) has a “wrongful death” statute that allows specified people to bring a suit against the nursing home. In essence, the wrongful death can’t help the deceased nursing home resident, but it does serve to prevent the institution from escaping responsibility for its actions, and it does provide some benefit to the deceased patient’s heirs.
The wrongful death statute applies to all wrongful deaths, not just those of nursing home residents. The Arizona statute defines a wrongful death as one caused by neglect, default or “wrongful act.” It allows a wrongful death claim to be brought in court if the person who died could have filed a personal injury suit based on the wrongful conduct.
In the case of claims for the death of a nursing home resident, that means that the wrongful death suit usually rests on two statutes:
Under the wrongful death statute, claims can be brought by the deceased’s estate, and by the following relatives/protectors of the deceased: spouse, child, and parent or guardian. If any of those people have died, their personal representative can sue.
Arizona’s wrongful death statute provides for two types of damages:
Damages for the deceased’s estate include funeral and burial expenses that are paid by the estate, compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering prior to death and, though rarely relevant in a case based on the death of a nursing home resident, lost wages the deceased would have earned had he or she not died.
Damages for the deceased’s survivors are for their loss of care, companionship, and guidance, as well as compensation for their own pain and suffering as a result of their loved one’s death.
The time after the wrongful death of a nursing home resident is chaotic and emotional. Unfortunately, this is the time when the survivors and estate should be thinking about holding the nursing home responsible. The first task in the wrongful death suit is establishing that the wrongdoing of the nursing home caused the death, which requires that evidence of the connection be identified and secured before it is lost to time.
Getting the advice of an experienced Phoenix nursing home wrongful death attorney allows the family to focus on the family trauma. The Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Knapp & Roberts are experienced in wrongful death claims against nursing homes, with a track record of success both in settling the claims out of court when possible and going to trial when necessary. We understand how difficult this time is for you and treat all our clients with integrity and compassion.
Call and tell us what happened in your case. There’s no charge for consultations or for handling the case unless we succeed. Legal time limits are in place, so don’t risk losing your opportunity to obtain justice. Contact a Phoenix elder abuse attorney at Knapp & Roberts today.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.