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Pitfalls to avoid when suing a Denver nursing home for wrongful death

Denver, CO – Most people that end up in nursing homes and other types of assisted living facilities are old, fragile, or battling severe illnesses. Their families are well aware their loved ones may not have long left to live, but they want them to be well cared for and treated with the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents are subjected to various forms of abuse and neglect, resulting in severe injury or death. When that happens, it is the family’s right, and duty, to sue the nursing home for wrongful death. It’s not about money, but about protecting other helpless victims against similar abuse. 

Last year, the family of Alice Armendariz filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ashley Manor LLC in Northglenn, after the elderly woman was left unattended in the shower room where she suffered a nasty fall. According to Alice Armendariz’s daughters, their mother’s care plan specifically mentioned that a staff member should accompany her in the shower room and keep an eye on her. However, the nurse in charge left her alone in the shower and went to chat with other employees. Armendariz was badly injured in the fall and died 3 days later.

Who do you sue in a nursing home wrongful death case?

The obvious answer is you should sue the management and/or individual staff members at the facility where your loved one died. The problem is that many facilities are part of a chain with a tangled corporate structure and seasoned lawyers. You’ll have to get a good Denver wrongful death lawyer yourself if you want to see justice done. Also, you need to be aware of the tactics such facilities and their attorneys use to lowball you. 

Beware of bullying

Most wrongful death claims are settled out of court, but without an experienced lawyer by your side, you may end up with a very low compensation. Their lawyers will use your scarce knowledge of the law against you. If you don’t know what your rights are you cannot know how much your claim is worth. 

The threat of bankruptcy

Hundreds of families were bullied into accepting low settlements in the Consulate Health Care scandal. The corporation owned 140 nursing homes across the US when they filed for bankruptcy in 2021. The investigation revealed that for the past six years, the company had used the threat of bankruptcy to force 137 plaintiffs to settle for a fraction of what they deserved. The strategy was very simple: “This is all we can give you. If you don’t take the offer, we’ll be filing for bankruptcy anyway and you good luck getting damages then”. 

Tips on proving negligence in a wrongful death case

A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury case and you have to prove it was a case of negligence. The Armendariz case was pretty obvious, but there are other forms of neglect that are harder to prove. For instance, if a bedridden elderly is not well looked after, he or she may develop horrible bedsores which can lead to complications and, ultimately, death. In such a case, your lawyers will have to bring in medical professionals who can testify that the bedsores were caused by improper care and the victim died because of them. 

The same applies to cases where a resident’s health deteriorates because they are not properly fed or they are not given water. Dehydration is especially dangerous for frail senior citizens, but you’ll need a doctor’s assessment of the situation to win your case. 

If someone you loved died of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, talk to an experienced lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm which offers help to bereaved families in the Denver area.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill 

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B 

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333

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