Nursing home wrongful death is a terrible tragedy that seems to happen too frequently in Colorado. When a resident of a nursing home dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or by intentional harms caused by nursing staff, doctors, administrators, and other employees, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation through a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Wrongful Death?
In most nursing home wrongful cases, a resident’s death are often preventable if the nursing home had done its due diligence to adhere to the duty of care. Nursing homes are responsible for protecting the physical and emotional well-being of their residents. Any breach or failure to fulfill this responsibility could lead to conditions that are unsafe and ultimately deadly for residents. Some potential causes of nursing home wrongful deaths in Colorado include:
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Intentional torts;
- Failure to break up resident-on-resident violence;
- Neglecting health care needs;
- Medication errors;
- Misdiagnoses or delay in diagnosis;
- Failure to notice the physical or sexual abuse of a resident by another resident or party.
In addition, issues, such as understaffing or poor training, may increase the risks of nursing home abuse, neglect, or wrongful death in Colorado.
Who Can be Liable for a Nursing Home Wrongful Death?
Long-term care facilities have an obligation to keep nursing home patients safe and provide proper care. Nursing home staff members, owners, and others can be held liable when proper care is not provided. If an investigation finds the nursing home or one of its employees should have done more to prevent an injury, the surviving family members can take legal action in the form of a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. A successful claim could result in compensation for funeral costs, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
A notable example occurred in September 2017. After Hurricane Irma destroyed a nursing home facilities’ air condition, twelve residents died after being exposed to extreme heat conditions. There was a hospital only 100 yards away that could have prevented these deaths from occurring. This is a prime example of a wrongful death situation when care providers and administrators failed to adhere to their duties to protect the residents.
Proving a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado
There are many forms of evidence used to establish the elements of wrongful death in a nursing home. If you suspect your loved one was the victim of wrongful death perpetrated by a nursing home, it is important to gather the following evidence:
- Medical records.
- Photos of wounds.
- Photos or videos of conditions within the nursing facility.
- Videos of abuse.
- Articles of clothing.
- Written accounts of abuse or cause of death.
- Witness statements.
- Documentation of nursing home correspondence.
- Timeline of relevant events and dates.
It is also important to remember nursing home abuse is not limited to physical injuries. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, psychological abuse and gross neglect are common forms of abuse in nursing homes. If your loved one reported elder abuse of any kind before they passed away, any evidence that shows this could be important for your case.
Evidence proving wrongful death in a nursing home can be challenging to obtain. Witnesses’ memories can fade with time or be unreliable. Physical evidence may need to be obtained and preserved. For a family grieving a loved one’s death, this burden can be challenging to take on alone. One of the most helpful services a law firm can offer in a wrongful death case is to take on gathering evidence while the family processes their loss.
Contact a Colorado Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The primary focus of our practice is bringing those who abuse senior citizens within nursing homes to justice. When we investigate your claim, we can find evidence that supports your wrongful death claim and work to hold each contributing party liable. Our team can pursue an out-of-court settlement or bring your claim to trial if necessary. Contact a nursing home wrongful death attorney at Bowman Law today by calling 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.