Families Don’t Sue
A lawsuit will not bring your loved one back from death, but it has the potential to save other residents’ lives and prevent other families from suffering a preventable loss because the nursing home will be forced to rethink how they do things including how to prevent falls.
Many families do not sue when their loved one in a nursing home has a fracture and survives the fall because they are afraid the nursing home will not treat their loved one right. This is a legitimate concern because nursing homes often treat residents whose families have filed a lawsuit badly. The best option is to transfer the resident to another nursing home or even bring her/him home. Check out this article, Removing a Resident from Nursing Home.
Some Reasons Why People Don’t Sue Nursing Homes:
1.) It is costly to sue. – This is totally false. Any good attorney would work on a contingency fee basis. This means the attorney would get about 40% of the settlement or verdict. If your attorney does not recover anything for you, you pay nothing.
2.) It’s a hassle and it will take years. - This is not true. It is worth your time to get justice for what happened to your loved one. If you do not feel that you have time to devote to fighting for justice, you should ask another family member who is best suited to bring the lawsuit.
3.) It will make the grief process longer. - This is not true for everyone. Family members grieve in different ways. A family member who wants closure and justice should be the one to bring the lawsuit. Never discourage a family member who wants to hold the nursing home accountable to not sue. You need to support this family member and not interfere in any way. Make it easy for this family member to move forward with legal action.4.) Denial - Some people have a hard time accepting that their loved one’s injury or death was caused by nursing home negligence because some very caring and compassionate nursing home staff members took good care of their loved one. They think suing the nursing home means they are blaming those good staff members. At every nursing home, there is always a mixture of good and bad staff members. Check out Problems with Nursing Home Staff to understand the problem with bad and good staff members. Your loved one could have had some good CNAs, but their supervising nurse was negligent because she refused to implement a plan to prevent another fall. Keep in mind some supervising nurses and even the director of nursing demand that staff members spend a limited amount of time with each resident and this leads to neglecting the residents who need the most care. Some people who are in denial want to believe that the nursing home did the best they could and that the fall/injury could not have been prevented. Also, some people feel guilt deep down inside about how they admitted their loved one to that nursing home.
5.) It was not deliberate. – Many people have the misconception that they should only sue if their loved one’s serious injury or death was only caused by a deliberate action such as resident being pushed on purpose. The truth is most falls and many other serious conditions such as choking, malnutrition, dehydration, and bedsores were not caused by deliberate actions. They were simply caused by negligent actions such as not enough staff to monitor patients, failure to implement the right plan to prevent falls, etc. A majority of nursing home lawsuits are due to nursing home negligence rather than deliberate actions.
6.) Desire to not testify - Family members who are not comfortable with going to court or testifying should let a family member who is comfortable with testifying and going to court do the lawsuit.
7.) Belief that Christians Should Not Sue – This is misguided. Nursing home negligence and wrongful death are not trivial matters. This is completely different from suing another Christian in the church. Nursing home is a for-profit corporation and has no soul. Check out this article, Should Christians Sue? by a Christian attorney.
A family member of a nursing home resident who sustained in serious injury such as a fall that resulted in death at a nursing home should hold the nursing home accountable. If the children of the resident do not want to sue, then another family member such as a grandchild, sibling, niece, nephew, or cousin should do the law suit.
It is best for a family member that has the below criteria to sue:
1.) A family member who visited the resident a lot at the nursing home and knows many of the staff members.
2.) A family member who took pictures and videos of the resident’s injuries and is very details oriented.
3.) A family member who is willing to give a testimony and comfortable with standing up to the nursing home.
4.) A family member who has some medical
knowledge and is good at researching.
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