Can I Sue A Nursing Home for Wrongful Death if My Relative Died from COVID-19?

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The Coronavirus situation has completely flipped the world upside down in more ways than one. This has not stopped at the sphere of legal issues when it comes to personal injury and wrongful death matters. While some states and politicians might claim that businesses cannot be sued for wrongful death claims that stem from coronavirus, it does not mean you cannot or should not sue for your relative contracting COVID-19 while under the care and supervision of a nursing home. In this article, we’ll go over some of the details behind wrongful death and why the coronavirus pandemic is not an excuse for nursing home neglect.

What Is Wrongful Death

Before we can dive into the nuances of different situations in which this ruling might occur, we should first define what qualifies as wrongful death in the first place. A wrongful death claim is an act that results in the death of another individual as a result of negligence, intentional attack, manslaughter, and murder. This suit can be filed on the behalf of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or any other member of the family or individual who has lost the company and support of the victim, economic or otherwise. Damages can be incurred from financial compensation lost or traumatic experiences and pain and suffering that had resulted as a result of the loss of life.


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When Should A Nursing Home Be Sued For Neglect

Although most nursing homes have rules set in place to protect their residents, elderly abuse does occur from time to time. This abuse can take many forms when workers do not take into account the rights of elders to live in a safe environment that has been legally sanctioned by the government. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, individuals were able to sue if their elderly relative died in the care as a result of neglect and not purely natural causes. If this has occurred, you will want to get in touch with qualified and experienced legal representatives as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time the defendant, in this case, the offending nursing home, will have time to come up with a strong defense that can put you out of the remuneration that you are owed.

What Is The Situation Under COVID-19?

During emergency situations, the lives of older patients are especially at risk due to complications in their health prior to the public safety crisis. Natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina have proven precedent as hospice services and caretaking facilities needed to react appropriately in order to protect all of their residents. It is important to note that when a business takes on the care for the wellbeing of the individual, it is their responsibility to make sure the individual is protected and cared for no matter what is going on. This can extend out towards the current coronavirus pandemic situation where nursing homes must take the additional steps in order to protect their residents from contracting the illness. A failure to enforce the policies enacted by state and national guidelines and laws can be proved as negligence in a court of law. For example, if the nursing home is irresponsible in their social distancing practices laid out by mandatory state guidelines, then they are liable for causing damage if your relative contracts coronavirus. Additional infractions could also include allowing sick workers to continue working as they infect other patients as well as not having and enacting the proper disinfecting procedures and protocols.

What Can A Lawsuit Do?

A nursing home lawsuit can do several things at once. A wrongful death claim can serve as justice to what has happened to your loved one by forcing those responsible for negligence to pay for their crimes. You can also stand to receive compensation from the individual that committed the crime, the nursing home company itself, or the insurance provider of the nursing home. As a result, there are many ways that an experienced attorney can take when looking to get you your compensation for the loss. Some of the damages can result from pain and suffering, medical costs, lost income, mental trauma, and a loss of life enjoyment. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, your case can serve as a landmark case. It could be one that all other cases are decided by and serves as a legal post for how our society should behave in the face of negligence and care for nursing home residents so another issue like the one you faced never happens again.


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While we understand that no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back to you, understand that there are still steps you can take if you feel that negligence in a nursing home during the COVID-19 panic occurred and your loved one contract coronavirus as a result. If you feel that you are in this situation as a result of the nursing home operations, please schedule an appointment with us immediately. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to get what you deserve.


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Deepti Asthana

As Managing Partner at Caldwell, Wenzel and Asthana, Deepti Asthana works primarily in the areas of personal injury, and estate and trust litigation. In 2017, Lawyers of Distinction named Deepti as one of the Top 10% of Alabama attorneys in Civil Litigation. She also won multiple academic awards while pursuing her JD at University of Western Ontario.

Comments 1

  1. Nesha says:

    My mom died from Covid-19. I think the LTC facility should be held responsible. However, LTCs and nursing homes are protected by a liability law leaving families to be robbed of their loved ones due to neglect and abuse.

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