The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe, causing over 6.5 million infections and 388 328 deaths. The US has the highest number of infections and deaths of any country in the world, with more than 1.9 million infections and 109 000 deaths.
During the virus’s peak, the rapidly increasing infection rate overwhelmed the global medical healthcare facilities. Therefore, forcing doctors and other healthcare professionals into making decisions as to who was left to die and who was given the ICU bed, manual ventilator, and other medical equipment to try and fight off the respiratory infection caused by COVID-19.
Nursing homes were another ecosystem was once the virus had entered a particular nursing home, staff was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of elderly dying.
As an aside, it is interesting to note that over 2.4 million US residents live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
Stephanie Soucheray, in her article titled, “Nursing homes site of 40% of US COVID-19 deaths,” highlights the following fact:
New research suggests that “up to 40% of US deaths from COVID-19 have taken place in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, a staggering statistic that represents 40,600 residents.” These figures translate into circa 450 residents in these facilities dying every day since March 2020.
Consequently, the question that begs is how do family members who believe they have lost a loved one due to negligence in the current pandemic go about seeking justice for the loss of life?
Seeking justice for a deceased loved one: A case study
Let’s answer this question by looking at the role and function of a Miami medical malpractice attorney by exploring the following scenario.
Let’s assume for the purposes of this article, that your beloved grandmother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and was staying in a long-term frail care facility where she has well looked after.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 flew through the nursing home where she was staying, resulting in the deaths of 60% of the residents and 20 staff members. You believe her death was totally unnecessary as she was only 62 years old and healthy, apart from dementia.
Therefore, let’s look at a few steps that you need to follow to decide whether it is viable to file a medical malpractice claim against the nursing home.
Consult with a legal expert
At this juncture, it’s important to note that nursing homes are seeking and winning immunity in the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be the deciding factor in whether a medical malpractice lawsuit is an option or not. Consequently, it is essential to ask your attorney whether your grandmother’s nursing home is part of the tranche that has applied for immunity.
Abpla.org states that “medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to [or death of] a patient.”
It is also essential to be aware of the fact that the onus is on the plaintiff to prove that healthcare professionals are guilty of medical malpractice. Therefore, it is essential to gather as much factual information as possible before the claim is filed with the civil court.
Trust the process
Finally, the only thing to do is to trust your attorney to negotiate with the nursing home’s lawyers. These lawsuits take time to conclude.