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When Your Relative Dies in a PA Nursing Home

Death is never very far from a nursing home.

That shouldn’t be surprising. People who need residential care are too ill, too elderly, or too feeble to protect their own interests. Most of them are looking at the horizon toward the ends of their lives. But that doesn’t mean their lives have less value. In fact, because their remaining days are so few, they must be cherished.

This is what makes a Pennsylvania nursing home death so devastating when it results from negligence or errors made by the nursing home staff. We call this a wrongful death because it robs the nursing home resident of the especially sweet days at the end of her life. Worse still, it cruelly robs her family of the chance to spend a few more hours with their beloved aunt, wife, or grandma.

Death is always waiting near a nursing home, but that doesn’t mean it should be invited in. When your family has been wounded by a nursing home wrongful death in Pennsylvania, no amount of money will make things whole again. But a legal action to hold people accountable can help balance the scales a little.

Do some good to weigh against the great wrong that has occurred

The staff and managers of a residential nursing home did not have the same obligation to watch out for your family member as two strangers have for each other. No, they had a much stronger duty of care, because they offered their caretaking services in a commercial transaction and because they knew your loved one was feeble and sickly. They had a greater obligation to guard against dangers on behalf of your relative.

They failed to fulfill their duty—your loved one died.

There are many ways a Pennsylvania nursing home death can occur, such as

  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Improper use of oxygen
  • Wandering off

Each such case of an avoidable wrongful death means that the nursing home staff has neglected its duty to protect residents from reasonably expected harm.

Now, we all recognize there is no amount of money that can bring back your loved one. But, in this case, money serves as a symbolic means to hold the nursing home to public shame: “This institution,” the justice system will say, “placed its profits ahead of the people it claims to serve, and so we are taking away the money it loves so much.” At the same time, a lawsuit for wrongful death against a nursing home allows you to recover some expenses your family incurred—such as funeral and burial expenses—and may warn other families of the dangers at this nursing home.

Let Schmidt Kramer Seek the justice your family deserves

The Harrisburg nursing home abuse attorneys at Schmidt Kramer regularly investigate injuries and deaths in residential care facilities across Pennsylvania. The surviving family members retain our services to determine whether a wrongful death has occurred because of staff or management negligence. Many families find comfort by having the question answered definitely, even when the answer is not what they expected.

When we uncover cases of abuse or neglect, we can help the family pursue legal remedies in the courts or by settlement. It’s important to recognize that there are time limits for filing a wrongful death claim, so call us today at (717) 888-8888 to schedule a free, confidential case review. We charge no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained.