What is a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A nursing home wrongful death lawsuit is a case brought by someone who has lost a loved one (the victim) as a result of a wrongful deed or omission/failure to act of another. A survivor, or the authorized party on behalf of the deceased, can file suit against a nursing home defendant.
An authorized party is usually an immediate next of kin and/or the spouse of the deceased victim.
Applicability of Wrongful Death Lawsuits Sacramento Against Nursing Homes
A nursing home chain or skilled nursing facility might be sued for wrongful death if it caused personal injury or death to a resident/patient. The circumstances under which a lawsuit is warranted often include cases such as:
- The facility deprived the victim of necessary goods or services that would have kept the resident safe.
- The nursing home committed an egregious error or was negligent, which led to the victim’s death.
- Facility staff committed medical malpractice or failed to provide adequate nursing services.
- A product or service caused death and/or harm to a victim. In this case, the victim’s family can sue the manufacturers or the seller of the defective product as well.
- The nursing home killed a victim by its recklessness or, in some cases, intentional conduct.
The Burden of Proof to Sue Nursing Homes for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Sacramento
The plaintiff (the victim’s family) has the burden to prove that the defendant (the nursing home) caused the wrongful death of their loved one. The Plaintiff must present evidence showing negligence (breach of duty) on the part of the defendant facility. The evidence presented can be direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, or both.
Factors Used to Determine Wrongful Death Lawsuit Sacramento and Northern California Reasonable Compensation
We understand that the death of a loved one cannot have a price put on it. The law allows for the justice system to consider various factors in determining the value to be placed on the wrongful death of a loved one. Many factors come into consideration when establishing compensation (damages) for wrongful death. The California Civil Jury Instructions breaks down Wrongful Death Damages into two general categories: (1) Economic Damages; and (2) Non-Economic Damages.
Economic Damages include any of the following:
- The financial support, if any, that decedent would have contributed to the family during either the life expectancy that decedent had before his/her death, or the life expectancy of the plaintiff, whichever is shorter;
- The loss of gifts or benefits that plaintiff would have expected to receive from decedent;
- Funeral and burial expenses; and
- The reasonable value of household services that decedent would have provided.
Non-Economic Damages include any of the following:
- The loss of decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support;
- The loss of enjoyment of sexual relations (for a plaintiff spouse); and
- The loss of decedent’s training and guidance.
How Is Wrongful Death Lawsuit Compensation Paid?
When a plaintiff sues and wins a judgment for wrongful death, compensation is payable by the defendant. In the case of the existence of an insurance policy (or policies), a claim might be payable by the nursing home’s insurance company up to the limit of insurance coverage with the defendant nursing home responsible for the rest of the amount.
Is Compensation from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Taxable?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are mainly two types of damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages, which compensate for actual harm, are non-taxable. However, awards of punitive damages are meant to legally and financially punish the Defendant. Compensatory damages are non-taxable but punitive damages are taxable.
Get help or consult with one of our wrongful death attorneys to further understand your rights. To learn more about wrongful death lawsuit Sacramento and Northern California you can visit the Wrongful Death section of this website.