Often when people think of a wrongful death lawsuit they picture in their mind an auto accident or a defective consumer product, but one area that can result in wrongful death is with the elderly. The most common places that this will happen is in a hospital or retirement home. The following are four reasons why an elderly person can die wrongfully.
They are given the wrong medication
This can take place in both a hospital or a retirement home or any other place where the elderly are administered medication. But regardless of the setting, there is no excuse for a person to be given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. Safeguards must be in place to prevent this. Elderly people are less likely to tolerate wrong medications, so they are more susceptible to death when this happens.
They are neglected
Usually this won't result in immediate death, but over time, the cumulative effect of neglect can lead to a wide array of problems that can take the life of an older person. The most common cause of death will be an infection, and the exact cause of the infection will help determine whether it was from neglect. One example is bed sores. These sores are entirely preventable, but if they appear and are not treated, an infection can develop that can lead to death.
They are physically abused
Abuse of the elderly can take many forms, and is always a crime. When it leads to death, it is not only a crime, but there is also the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit. When the physical abuse is bad enough that it leads to death, a medical examiner will usually discover this, but not always. It is possible that the abuse was a single event that led to the elderly person's death, and the caregiver claimed it was an accident. Regardless whether a caregiver was charged with a crime, a wrongful death lawsuit is still possible.
They fall down
When an elderly person falls down, the consequences can be fatal. There are circumstances in a hospital or convalescent center where steps are taken to reduce the chances of a person falling down. Simply not helping an elderly person stand up or get out of bed could be seen as negligent.
Wrongful death lawsuits are a form of personal injury and are brought by attorneys on behalf of one or more surviving loved ones. If your loved one was elderly, and you are in any way suspicious of the circumstances that led to their death, you should contact a wrongful death attorney immediately for additional info.