Wrongful Death

Utah Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyers

As individuals advance into their later years, many face health challenges or conditions that make independent living complex. Consequently, they transition into nursing homes for necessary care and support. 

While it is inevitable that some residents will pass away during their stay in these facilities, it's deeply troubling when a resident’s death is not merely a result of natural causes but due to negligence or abuse. Such causes may be deemed “wrongful death,” a tragic and preventable event. 

At Elder Care Injury, we understand that losing a loved one is a painful experience for family members and friends. When that loss is due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, it can be even more wrenching. Challenging such an event in the throes of grief and confusion only adds to the turmoil. 

Our team is here to help you navigate the complex legal landscape of wrongful death cases in Utah nursing homes. Because our firm is dedicated to nothing but nursing home negligence and abuse, we are uniquely qualified to help you fight for the justice you deserve.

Book your free consultation with a Utah nursing home wrongful death attorney by calling us at (801) 997-5019 or via our contact form

What Is Wrongful Death in Utah?

In Utah, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the "wrongful act or neglect" of another (Utah Code § 78B-3-106). It applies when a person's life was taken due to negligence or cruel intent. This includes deaths caused by the misconduct, negligence, or carelessness of others, which unfortunately can occur in nursing homes.

The Vulnerability of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home residents are particularly susceptible to wrongful death due to their frail health and dependency on others for proper care. Potential causes of wrongful death in nursing homes include negligence and deliberate misconduct.

Examples of these potential causes can include:

  • Neglect: This is the most common cause of wrongful death in nursing homes. Neglect occurs when the staff fails to provide the necessary care to the residents. It can involve inadequate food, water, or medical care, leading to malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and other untreated health conditions, ultimately resulting in death.
  • Medical Malpractice: This involves failing to provide proper medical care to the residents. It can include misdiagnosis, delay in treatment, incorrect medication, or improper use of medical equipment. These errors can have fatal consequences, particularly for elderly residents with compromised health.
  • Abuse: Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse by nursing home staff or other residents can lead to severe trauma and even death. Signs of abuse can include unexplained injuries, sudden changes in behavior, or fear of specific individuals.
  • Fall Accidents: As people age, their risk of falling increases due to physical frailty and balance issues. If a nursing home does not have proper safety measures, falls can occur, leading to severe injuries or death.
  • Inadequate Staffing: Many cases of wrongful death can be traced back to under-staffing. When there are not enough staff members to adequately care for all residents, neglect and errors are more likely to occur.
  • Improper or Poor Training: Where caregivers have been inadequately trained, as in how to safely transfer patients from beds or chairs to wheelchairs or in sanitation techniques, fatal infections and injuries can result.

Making a Wrongful Death Claim

In Utah, a wrongful death claim can be initiated either by the heirs of the deceased or the executor of the decedent’s estate, often referred to as the “personal representative.” A guardian can file the claim in court if the deceased was an adult under legal guardianship. 

Under Utah's legal framework, the following individuals, as heirs, are eligible to file a wrongful death claim:

  • Surviving spouses
  • Surviving children (adopted children qualify)
  • Surviving parent(s) (adoptive parents qualify)
  • Surviving stepchildren under 18 at the time of the death and financially reliant on the deceased
  • If none of the above individuals exist, other blood relatives may file a claim

If a personal representative or a guardian initiates the wrongful death claim, any damages recovered will be distributed to the surviving family members.

The Wrongful Death Process

The process of filing a wrongful death claim can be complex and emotionally draining, which is why you should seek legal counsel.

At Elder Care Injury, we will guide you through the legal process of providing evidence that the nursing home’s negligence or abuse directly led to your loved one’s death. This could include medical records, eyewitness testimonies, or expert opinions. We can then draft a complaint outlining your allegations and the damages you seek. 

During the “discovery” phase of the process, we will likely depose witnesses, request documents from the nursing home, and gather more evidence to support the claim. Many wrongful death cases are settled out of court. We can work to reach a fair and just settlement agreement through negotiation.

The case will go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached. Our skilled litigators will fight in civil court to help you recover the damages you deserve. These can cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills based on the decedent’s last illness or injury, the pain and suffering the decedent experienced, and the loss of their companionship, affection, and more for family survivors. 

Each wrongful death case is unique, and the process can vary depending on the circumstances. By consulting with our dedicated attorneys, you can ensure that you take the proper steps toward justice for your loved one and family. 

Call us at (801) 997-5019 or contact us online for legal help today. 

Have Questions?

We Have Answers!
  • How Do I Contact Your Law Office?
    If you're in need of legal representation, you can contact Elder Care Injury by calling us at (801) 997-5019 or by submitting an online form on our website.
  • What Types of Cases Do You Represent?

    At our law firm, we have dedicated and compassionate attorneys who can help you or your loved one. We provide the following legal services:

    • Bed Sores
    • Pressure Ulcers
    • Slips, Trips, & Fall
    • Malnutrition
    • Dehydration
    • Poor Inspections
    • Medication Mistakes
    • Patient Elopement
    • Physical Assault
    • Sexual Assault
    • Bed to Wheelchair Transfer Injuries
    • Pneumonia & Aspiration Pneumonia
    • Infections
    • Wrongful Death
  • How Can Your Law Firm Help Me?

    Unfortunately, the elderly are susceptible to some of the worst mistreatment of all U.S. citizens. Our experienced attorneys seek to bring justice for nursing home abuse victims and their families.

    Our litigators prepare every case for trial through an extensive investigation into the facts and circumstances; this work is done to uncover and expose the wrongdoing that has led to our client’s physical injury, neglect, emotional trauma, or financial harm, and loss of dignity, security, and respect. 

  • When Should I Reach Out To An Attorney?
    Our attorneys can help if you or a loved one has suffered nursing home abuse and neglect, whether physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, or financial. You can discuss your case with for law firm during a free consultation. We work diligently and quickly to help our clients seek justice.

Contact Elder Care Injury Today!

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    Working in association with Senior Justice Law Firm, and local counsel outside Utah, our services are available for those in Utah & surrounding states such as Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Idaho.
  • We Are A Unique & Specialized Practice Group
    Elder Care Injury is a dedicated practice group of Eisenberg Lowrance Lundell Lofgren. Elder Care Injury team’s singular focus is handling nursing home abuse & elder care abuse cases.
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