We entrust nursing homes to care for our loved ones during their golden years. These institutions carry the responsibility of ensuring the safety, health, and well-being of their residents. However, there are instances when negligence or intentional acts within nursing homes lead to grave consequences, even death.
For families who have lost someone due to the negligent or intentional acts of a nursing home or nursing abuse or neglect in Augusta, legal recourse may be available through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, certain criteria need to be met to sue a nursing home for wrongful death
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by the crime, negligence, or intentional act of another person or entity. It can arise from scenarios like negligence-based accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, or even crimes such as assault or murder. Essentially, if a person dies due to the legal fault of another, it is termed as wrongful death.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes
In nursing homes, death is an unfortunately common occurrence, and not all deaths in these facilities warrant legal action. Many are natural outcomes of prolonged illnesses or unavoidable incidents. However, a nursing home’s actions—or lack thereof—can also lead to a resident’s preventable death. When this occurs, affected families may have the right to file a lawsuit against the facility.
Below are some scenarios where nursing home negligence may lead to wrongful death:
Medical errors, such as incorrect medication dosage or improper health management
Inadequate security measures resulting in injury from falls, wandering, or resident-on-resident violence
Failure to provide reasonable care based on the resident’s health needs or to take necessary action during a medical emergency
If an abusive caregiver employed by the facility directly causes a resident’s death, the nursing home may also be liable. In Georgia, employers are liable for the actions of their employees, and affected families can name both the caregiver and the nursing home in their lawsuit
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home
If you believe that your loved one’s death was caused by nursing home negligence, it is important to act quickly. Georgia has specified guidelines regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and when they can file it. In most cases, you must initiate your lawsuit within two years from the date of death.
Only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased person. In Georgia, the following individuals may bring the lawsuit, in this order:
The deceased’s surviving spouse
The deceased’s surviving child or children
The deceased’s parent or parents
The administrator or executor of the deceased person’s estate
No other family member may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. If your loved one does not have a surviving spouse, children, or parents and did not name an executor, the court could appoint one on his or her behalf.
Seek Justice with a Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit, especially against a nursing home, can be a complex process. In these situations, an attorney can guide you through the process and help you secure the justice that you deserve. If you believe that you qualify for a claim, contact an Augusta wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.