Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes: Protecting Vulnerable Loved Ones

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Some of the most vulnerable populations reside in nursing homes, where you expect your elderly loved ones to be treated with care and kindness as they live out their final years. While many nursing homes offer the level of care you would hope for and expect, sometimes, unthinkable abuse and negligence can lead to the wrongful death of your loved one. 

If you have experienced the death of a family member in a Colorado nursing home that could have been prevented, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Continue reading below to learn more about nursing home wrongful death cases and determine if you can seek compensation for the emotional pain and financial loss you’ve endured. 

Understanding Wrongful Nursing Home Death

You move your loved one into a nursing home, assisted living facility, or long-term care facility because you want them to have the resources and support they need to thrive and live comfortably at the end of their lives. 

But, in the worst-case scenario, elders don’t receive the high-quality care that they were promised, and can be abused and neglected to the point that it leads to their death. If your family suffers this terrible tragedy, you’ll have many questions surrounding the circumstances of their death, primarily, “How could something like this happen?”, “How did no one notice the signs?, or “How can we make sure the nursing home is held accountable and prevent such deaths from occurring in the future?”

It’s important to note that of course, deaths occur in nursing homes and long care facilities daily. However, there are some important distinctions between the natural deaths that are inevitable aspects of life and those that were caused directly by the negligence or intentional misconduct of a staff member. 

Causes of Wrongful Death in a Long-Term Care Facility

Unfortunately, there are many possible causes of wrongful death in a nursing home, either from neglect or intentional senior abuse. Here are some of the most common causes of wrongful Colorado nursing home death: 

  • Preventable Injuries: A lack of proper supervision for residents who have special medical needs or mobility issues could result in accidents or falls that cause fatal injuries 
  • Medical Error: Errors in medication administration, lack of timely medical intervention or misdiagnoses can contribute to an elder’s wrongful death
  • Abuse: Staff members physically, emotionally, or psychologically abusing residents can significantly impact their well-being and result in severe injuries or death
  • Neglect of Basic Needs: If a facility fails to provide its residents with proper nutrition, hydration, basic hygiene, or other essentials, it could weaken their immune system and lead to a premature death
  • Resident-on-Resident Violence: Failure to address disputes or altercations that occur between residents could lead to severe or even fatal injuries if not addressed appropriately

The Duty of Care in Nursing Homes

Staff members working in nursing homes or long-term care facilities have a duty of care to residents to uphold their safety, well-being, and quality of life. With this comes a number of responsibilities that such facilities and their staff must adhere to, including: 

  • Adequate Medical Care and Monitoring: Staff must offer appropriate medical care and proper medication administration, promptly addressing any changes in residents’ health as needed
  • Hygiene and Nutrition: Basic needs like proper personal care, assistance with daily activities, and nutritional meals should be provided in all nursing homes
  • Fall Prevention: Facilities should implement the appropriate measures to prevent falls and injuries 
  • Emotional Support: Residents should receive proper emotional and psychological support for their mental health needs
  • Prevention of Abuse and Neglect: All staff should be aware of the signs of abuse and actively prevent and report any signs of abuse or neglect that may be occurring in the facility

How to Prove Nursing Home Wrongful Death 

If surviving family members want to file a wrongful death suit, there are a few things that must be present to take legal action. For starters, you need to demonstrate that your loved one’s death was a direct result of the negligence or intentional abuse of the facility’s staff. Here are the key elements of a wrongful death case

  • A resident died while in the care of a long-term care facility 
  • The facility’s staff owed a duty of care to the resident
  • There was a breach of duty of care
  • The breached duty of care directly caused the resident’s death
  • Evidence of damages surviving loved ones experienced as a result of the death

Filing such a wrongful death claim may allow you to recover economic damages to cover unpaid bills or funeral costs, in addition to non-economic damages for the emotional toll of the wrongful death. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Colorado for filing a wrongful death claim is only two years, so any lawsuits must be filed within this timeframe to be valid. 

Contact Sandene Law to File Your Wrongful Death Claim

Bringing a wrongful death claim against the long-term care facility where your loved one suffered a premature death can be full of many intense feelings of loss, anger, and grief. 

Navigating the legal system at the same time as you mourn the massive loss in your family is often overwhelming, so trusting an experienced law firm like Sandene Law can provide you with the legal support and expert guidance you need to seek the compensation your family deserves. 

Older adults deserve dignity and a good quality of life while residing in long-term care facilities. So when the unthinkable happens and they have a preventable death, Colorado law gives surviving family members the right to sue for the damages they’ve incurred as a result. 

If you want to speak with a Denver wrongful death lawyer about filing a wrongful death suit against the long-term care facility where your loved one tragically passed, contact Sandene Law today for your free consultation.


What factors might lead to a wrongful death suit against a long-term care facility?

Liability in wrongful death suits against long-term care facilities is typically determined based on factors such as negligence, inadequate care, or medical malpractice that may have contributed to the death of a resident.

How can a Denver wrongful death lawyer help in pursuing legal action against a long-term care facility?

Families seeking legal action against a long-term care facility can benefit from the expertise of a Denver wrongful death lawyer, who can provide guidance on the legal process, evidence requirements, and potential compensation available.

What evidence is typically required to support a wrongful death claim in such cases?

Evidence required to support a wrongful death claim against a long-term care facility may include medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony demonstrating negligence or malpractice.

Are there specific laws or regulations that long-term care facilities must adhere to in order to prevent wrongful deaths?

Long-term care facilities are required to adhere to specific laws and regulations aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of residents. Failure to meet these standards, such as neglecting medical needs or providing substandard care, can lead to legal liability.

How long does the process of filing a wrongful death suit typically take, and what can families expect during this time?

The process of filing a wrongful death suit involves consultation with a lawyer, evidence gathering, and potential negotiation or trial. Legal experts guide families through each step, aiming to achieve fair compensation for their loss.

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