According to a study that considered the rate of mortality in nursing homes, 53.1 percent of nursing home residents die within three years of being admitted. While the majority of these deaths are due to unpreventable circumstances—i.e. patient age, health condition, etc.—some nursing home deaths are more suspicious, and may occur as a direct result of nursing home neglect.
If you believe that your family member had died a suspicious death at a nursing home in California, here is what you need to do:
Report the Death and Suspected Neglect Immediately
The nursing home in which your family member died is legally obligated to report the death to the state of California. However, if you believe that the death was suspicious and occurred as a result of neglect, you should file a complaint as soon as possible so that an investigation can ensue. You can file a complaint against the nursing home with the California Department of Public Health using the CDPH’s online system, and you can also file a complaint with California Adult Protective Services. Be thorough in the information that you include in your complaint.
Start Collecting Evidence
Waiting for an agency of the state of California to open an investigation can take time. In the interim, you should start collecting evidence about the death on your own. This may include your family member’s medical records, a history of other complaints filed against the nursing home, any signs of neglect or abuse, detailed records about how the death occurred, and any other evidence that you may be relevant to proving that your family member’s death would not have occurred had proper care been given. For example, if your loved one died as a result of a medication error, can you prove it? What medications was your loved one taking? Who was responsible for administering those medications? Have medication errors occurred in the past?
Contact an Attorney
When you suspect that nursing home abuse or neglect was the cause of a family member’s death, it is important that you seek legal help. A nursing home abuse and wrongful death attorney can not only help you to investigate the death and collect evidence, but can also guide you through what you need to know about how to file your claim, filing your claim within California’s statute of limitations, and what you will need to prove during the claim’s process. An attorney can also provide you with information regarding whether you have a strong case or not, and whether pursuing a claim is within your best interest.
Our Team Is Ready To Help
Losing a loved one is an emotional experience, especially if you believe that your loved one’s death only occurred because a nursing home failed to exercise the required amount of care. At Berman & Riedel, LLP, our skilled San Diego nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys will do everything that we can to help you seek justice. To schedule a free case consultation today, call us now at 858-350-8855.