When Nursing Home Neglect Leads To Death


sad elderly Asian woman sitting alone in wheelchair

Choosing a nursing home for an aging loved one can be challenging. Although most caregivers and health care professionals truly care about their patients, nursing home neglect happens all too often and can have a devastating impact on residents and their families. The wrongful death attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help make things right for Pennsylvania families who have lost a loved one due to nursing home neglect or abuse.

If you believe this has happened to someone you love, an attorney can determine whether you have a wrongful death claim and help you take action to hold responsible parties accountable.

How Neglect Can Lead To Death For Vulnerable Residents

Many nursing home residents rely on caregivers to assist them with personal hygiene, medication administration, eating, exercise, and other vital care and medical treatment. Unfortunately, nursing homes in it for the money may be short-staffed, fail to properly vet workers, or hire inexperienced caregivers who aren’t properly trained. They may skimp on proper nutrition for residents and ignore problems that could be easily resolved.

Failing to meet a resident’s basic needs or improper care can have serious consequences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that corporations and administrators responsible for the health and safety of their nursing home residents and staff need to be held accountable for their negligence. Nursing home neglect can come in many forms, including:

  • Failing to provide adequate food and water, which can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and death
  • Neglect of basic hygiene needs, such as regular bathing and toileting
  • Failing to turn bedridden patients as necessary, which can lead to bedsores and other health issues
  • Ignoring new or worsening medical conditions
  • Improper medication administration
  • Medical error
  • Failing to protect someone from other residents who become violent
  • Failing to safeguard residents from communicable diseases such as COVID-19
  • Social or emotional neglect, which may involve mental abuse, abandonment, and failure to provide adequate social and emotional care

Proving Wrongful Death In Nursing Home Neglect Cases

It’s critical to gather as much evidence as possible to prove that death occurred due to nursing home neglect. Nursing home administrators must keep detailed records and maintain standards for their residents’ health and wellness. A wrongful death attorney who has experience handling nursing home neglect and abuse cases will know exactly what to look for, ensuring a thorough investigation. Some examples of evidence include:

  • Medical records
  • Staff schedules and personnel files
  • Photos of wounds or broken bones
  • Photos or video of nursing home conditions
  • Video of abuse
  • Witness statements from workers, visitors, and other residents
  • Medical expert testimony
  • Nursing home correspondence

The burden of proof in these cases rests on the plaintiff. To show that negligence caused a loved one’s death, the following elements must be proven:

  • The nursing home had a legal obligation to ensure the safety of the resident who died
  • The nursing home did not take necessary care or safety precautions to keep the deceased resident safe
  • The nursing home’s action or inaction caused the resident’s wrongful death

Wrongful death cases can be hard to prove, so it’s important to hire a seasoned attorney who has successfully recovered compensation for families in nursing home neglect and abuse cases. Although no amount of money can bring back your loved one, exposing nursing home neglect and holding responsible parties accountable can improve the quality of life for other residents in the facility and prevent further neglect, abuse, and death.

Contact A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney In Pennsylvania

If you’ve lost a loved one or believe that someone you love is suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, our compassionate team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help. Pursuing justice for the most vulnerable is one of our passions. Our firm is dedicated to helping families find the compensation they deserve after losing a loved one due to negligence.

Contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Lehigh Valley and the Pocono Mountains region. We have additional locations in Stroudsburg, Allentown, and Topton, PA.  

If you suspect senior abuse or neglect, call the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505.


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