The Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi believe that facilities should not be allowed to commit abuse or neglect with impunity. Death of a loved one due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility is absolutely unacceptable. We have had success in holding the guilty facilities accountable and recovering damages to help ease, in any way possible, the pain of loss and suffering.
When a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another, California’s wrongful death statutes provide the decedent’s heirs rights to claim for the losses they have personally suffered as a result of the decedent’s death. For example, when a patient or resident is neglected to the point where his or her dehydration results in death, his or her children may bring their own wrongful death claim against the nursing home or assisted living facility and its operators. Recoverable damages include, but are not limited to, damages for loss of society, comfort, care, and protection. Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles for additional help in pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Although not every Elder Abuse action involving a deceased resident warrants a wrongful death claim, in many instances the neglect and abuse of a patient or resident is a direct cause of their death. Commonly, the facility’s failure to employ adequate staff is a contributing factor. For example, state statutes require that every skilled nursing facility provide at least 3.2 hours of direct care to each patient every day. As this is a legal requirement, if understaffing results in a patient’s death then the facility is liable. Although assisted living facilities are not as heavily regulated as skilled nursing facilities, they are still expected to employ an adequate number of staff to properly care for their residents. Many fatal errors committed by staff can be traced back to staffing problems. Overwork and stress significantly increase the likeliness of deadly mistakes. Such errors range from administering an overdose of medication to a patient to forgetting to turn on vital equipment.
When a condition that results in death is preventable, it can be classified as wrongful death. One of the most common causes of death in nursing homes is falling. The wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi in Los Angeles know that some fall incidents are preventable. Nursing homes are required to develop individual care plans for each patient that include assessments of fall risk and prevention plans. If a fatal fall occurred because the facility failed to implement prevention measures, possibly because of a lack of trained staff, then a wrongful death suit applies.
Other preventable conditions that can trigger a wrongful death suit include, but are not limited to, pressure ulcers and some infections. Pressure sores can make people more susceptible to infection, especially sepsis. Pressure sores are a preventable condition, so mortality due to infected pressure sores falls under wrongful death. When a facility does not use proper infection control and prevention techniques, there is also liability. Certain infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are well-known to be endemic in facilities so certain precautions should be in place to prevent outbreaks. Infections due to unhygienic conditions, such as when incontinent patients are left un-cleaned for long periods of time by negligent staff, are also preventable and thus may constitute a wrongful death claim when they result in a patient passing away.
If you would like to know whether you have an actionable wrongful death claim, please contact the Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi today. Our firm, along with our team of experienced experts and aggressive nursing home neglect attorneys, will do a comprehensive review of your case to determine your legal rights and options. If you have a meritorious wrongful death claim, we will prepare and, if necessary, take your case to trial to maximize your potential recovery.