What Happens When a Nursing Home Resident Dies While an Abuse or Negligence Case Is Pending

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white flowers on top of white casket at funeralYou trusted the nursing home to care for your loved one when she was unable to care for herself. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. While your loved one should have been cared for, she was instead abused or neglected by the very people who were supposed to keep her safe. She was aware of what happened, and she chose to stand up for herself and to protect her rights by pursuing a nursing home abuse or negligence lawsuit.

Sadly, not every nursing home resident who files an injury case lives to see the matter resolved. Your loved one may have died from the abuse or negligence injuries or other causes. As you mourn her passing and take care of her affairs, you may be wondering what will happen to her nursing home abuse or negligence case.

The Lawsuit May Continue

Your loved one’s death does not change the facts of what happened in the nursing home. She was abused or neglected, and the nursing home should not be excused from liability because she died.

In most cases, the personal injury lawsuit against the nursing home may continue. The executor of your loved one’s will or the administrator of her estate may step in on behalf of the estate as the plaintiff in the case. You will need to provide the court with notice that your loved one died,  a copy of the death certificate, and information confirming the appointment of the executor or administrator. The failure to provide the required documentation before the court’s deadline passes could result in a dismissal of your case. Therefore, you must notify your loved one’s nursing home injury lawyer as soon as possible after her death.

Once all of the required documentation is filed with the court, the nursing home abuse or negligence case can proceed on behalf of your loved one’s estate. When a settlement is reached or a verdict is rendered, the money will go to the estate and be distributed to the heirs.

Three Reasons to Keep the Lawsuit Going

You have a lot on your plate after a loved one dies. You might think about dropping the lawsuit against the nursing home, but in most cases, that would be a mistake. Instead, you should talk to your loved one’s executor and her nursing home abuse lawyer about continuing to pursue the claim. By allowing the nursing home injury case to proceed, you may:

  1. Follow through with your loved one’s wishes. Your loved one started this lawsuit after she was hurt by the abusive or negligent actions of nursing home staff. She wanted to hold the nursing home accountable and to recover fair damages for the injuries she suffered. While she is no longer able to pursue her own recovery, you can encourage her executor or administrator to do it for her.
  2. Encourage safety changes at the nursing home. Often, nursing home abuse and negligence cases result in meaningful nursing home policy and procedure changes that protect current and future nursing home residents from the abuse or negligence that hurt your loved one.
  3. Recover financial damages for the harm your loved one suffered. Your loved one might be gone, but she may have incurred medical bills and other expenses related to the abuse or neglect before her death, and she may have suffered physically and emotionally. Her estate deserves to make a fair financial recovery for these damages.

We understand that you likely have a lot of questions during this difficult time, and we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to get your questions answered. Our experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse and negligence lawyers are committed to holding nursing homes accountable for their actions, seeing justice done, and protecting current nursing home residents.

To learn more, call us or start a live chat with us any time—24/7/365—and schedule a time for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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