Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Death?

Posted On March 18, 2021 Elder Abuse,Nursing Home Abuse

If you had to make the difficult decision to place your loved one in a nursing home or another type of assisted living facility, then we know that you count on the employees at the facility to properly care for your loved one. Unfortunately, there are times when the negligent or intentional actions of nursing home employees cause the death of those under their care. Here, we want to discuss whether or not you can file a lawsuit against a nursing home for wrongful death. These claims can become complicated, and family members or a personal representative of the deceased should work with a skilled Anaheim nursing home wrongful death attorney to start this process.

How Can Nursing Homes Cause the Death of a Resident?

Wrongful death can occur in a nursing home anytime a resident suffers from severe neglect or abuse by incompetent staff members. There are various ways that this neglect or abuse can occur. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include the following:

  • Failure to provide adequate medical care
  • Failure to properly supply a resident with their medications
  • Failing to take steps to prevent patient falls
  • Failing to diagnose or treat various medical conditions such as bed sores or sepsis
  • Failing to break up violence between residents
  • Abuse of a resident by staff members at the nursing home

In some cases, nursing home abuse and neglect are perpetrated by only one nursing home employee. However, we often discover that abuse and neglect are systemic issues that spread throughout a nursing home’s culture.

Who can be Held Liable for a Nursing Home Wrongful Death in California?

In general, we will find that the nursing home agency itself will be held liable in these cases. This is true even if the actions of one or two employees or responsible for the wrongful death. That is because the nursing home will be vicariously responsible for the actions of their employees, so long as the employee was acting within the scope of their duties at the time the cause of wrongful death occurred.

In order to establish that a nursing home should be held responsible for wrongful death, it is important to prove the following:

  • The nursing home had a duty of care for the resident
  • The nursing home failed to provide the required standard of care
  • The misconduct of the nursing home or an employee caused the resident’s death

Who can File a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim in California?

Under California law, the following parties are typically the only ones allowed to bring a wrongful death case in civil court:

  • The deceased’s surviving spouse
  • The deceased’s surviving domestic partner
  • The deceased’s surviving children

If there is no surviving person in the deceased’s line of descent, then the wrongful death claim may be brought by any person who would otherwise be entitled to the property of the decedent through intestate succession laws.

Types of Compensation Available in These Cases

If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of a nursing home and its staff members, there may be various types of compensation available to your family. Surviving family members may be able to recover the following types of compensation:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Medical treatments related to the cause of death
  • Pain and suffering damages

The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation. We also understand that no amount of money will be able to make up for the loss of a loved one, but it can help bring some closure to the situation.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Request a Complimentary Consultation

If your elderly loved one is being abused or mistreated, learn how our attorney can help you. You can reach us by calling (562) 372-6904 or using the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


To protect you from COVID-19, we are offering a quick & easy remote intake process.