Blogs By K Ryan

Proving Worth: How to Claim the Wrongful Death of the Elderly

wrongful death of an elderLosing an elderly loved one is always a difficult experience. However, when the death was caused by negligence or wrongdoing by a nursing home or caretaking facility, it makes the death that much more painful. The wrongful death of an elder is a terrible tragedy that could have been prevented. 

Seniors and their families should expect high-quality care. This is unfortunately not always the case when it comes to nursing home facilities. In fact, these facilities could be responsible for the wrongful death of an elder. When this happens, the senior’s loved ones can file a wrongful death case on behalf of the decedent. 

 

Causes of Wrongful Deaths of Elders

When we entrust a nursing home with our aging loved ones, we expect that the staff will act with professionalism, respect, and kindness. While there are great staff members that do maintain these standards, there are others who do not. Some even commit various forms of elder abuse.

Carelessness, understaffing, and an ill-suited temperament can all contribute to the wrongful death of an elder. Common causes of death include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to meet the resident’s healthcare needs
  • Misdiagnosis 

When the wrongful death of an elder occurs, families may be able to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Not only could they recover financial compensation, but they can hold the responsible party accountable for their role in the wrongful death. 

Wrongful deaths of elders occur outside of nursing home facilities as well. Auto accidents, workplace hazards, product defects, criminal actions, and slip and fall accidents are also common causes of otherwise preventable deaths. 

Wrongful death lawsuits can bring awareness to the neglect and abuse that vulnerable, elderly people are at risk for and prevent others from experiencing the same heartbreak.

 

On what grounds can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed? 

According to Florida Statute 768.19, “When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person,” the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit.  

According to this statute, the following factors must be true: 

  • Duty: the liable party owed a responsibility of care to the decedent
  • Breach of duty: there was a failure to uphold the duty of care 
  • Causation: the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued
  • Damages: the person that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued shall be liable for damages

Liable parties will do everything they can to minimize their role in the death of an elder. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can gather the evidence needed to support your claim. 

 

Who can sue for the wrongful death of an elder?

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the situation and the state. Immediate family members (spouses and children) can file a wrongful death lawsuit in every state. 

According to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, a representative of the deceased elder must file the wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, spouses, children, and dependent blood relatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of an elder. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to medical malpractice cases, adult children (age 25 and above) of unmarried adults cannot recover damages in medical malpractice cases in Florida. 

 

Contact an Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Filing a lawsuit for the wrongful death of an elder can be a complicated and exhausting experience. Working with a Florida wrongful death lawyer can simplify the legal process and give you the best chance of recovering compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one. 

Contact our team today by calling (561) 655-1990. You can schedule a risk-free case evaluation and speak to one of our wrongful death lawyers. We can answer any questions you might have, learn more about your situation, and advise you of your legal options and rights. We look forward to assisting you.