Suffering the death of a loved one is a difficult and heartbreaking process that everyone handles differently. However, many people choose to hold a funeral in order to help them grieve and, most importantly, honor their loved one’s life.
Funeral homes play an instrumental part of this delicate process, yet so many are incompetent or centered around profit instead of helping families appropriately handle the death of loved ones. Funeral directors or morticians who treat the bodies of deceased individuals in an unprofessional, disrespectful or morally upsetting manner should be held legally responsible for their unacceptable actions.
If you have lost a loved one and their body was mishandled, a West Virginia funeral home abuse lawyer at Stewart Bell, PLLC is prepared to help you through this difficult time by fighting for the justice your family deserves.
What is Funeral Home Negligence?
Experiencing the mistreatment of a loved one who’s passed on can cause family members to suffer immense emotional trauma at a time when they are already grieving. If you are in this situation, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you were forced to endure.
Any facility that was responsible for providing end-of-life services for your loved one but failed to do so in an appropriate manner may be found guilty of negligence or malpractice. Funeral home negligence comes in many different forms, including:
Embalming should always be performed by a licensed professional. When a body is embalmed or stored incorrectly, it can cause early decomposition and severe disfigurement. This typically forces the family to close the casket, which can be very upsetting for family members who wished to view their loved one at the funeral.
This can include giving the wrong cremated remains to the family, losing cremated remains, cremating the body without the family’s permission, and more. Cremation mistakes are often the result of a careless funeral home.
Mishandling a Deceased Body
There are many ways a facility can mishandle deceased bodies, including dropping the body, storing multiple bodies in one casket, sexual assault of the body, or mutilating the body.
Stealing any personal property from the deceased including jewelry, clothing, or prosthetics. Some funeral home employees even steal body parts to sell to research labs for profit, many times, without the family’s knowledge.
The main goal of some funeral homes is to make a profit, despite the pain it can cause to grieving families. Facilities may act fraudulently by reselling caskets or charging for burial services that the deceased never received.
Funeral homes and cemeteries are responsible for ensuring deceased individuals are buried properly. Additionally, they must respect the wishes of the family after the burial, as well. However, some cemeteries move bodies without the families’ permission, bury multiple bodies in the same plot, or fail to maintain the cemetery property.
These acts of funeral home negligence and abuse are grotesque and unimaginable. Unfortunately, they happen more often than people realize. If you believe that your deceased loved one was mistreated, it is important to have an experienced funeral home abuse lawyer carefully evaluate the facts of your case to determine if you have the grounds to file a lawsuit.
Compensation for Funeral Home Malpractice Cases
While negligent funeral homes rarely cause individuals to suffer physical injuries, they inflict tremendous mental or emotional damage on the family members of the deceased. When people enlist the services of a funeral home, they should be able to trust that the facility will act professionally and treat their passed loved one with the utmost respect.
Morticians, funeral home operators, or other employees who violate this trust need to be held accountable. The funeral home abuse lawyers at Stewart Bell, PLLC are here to help West Virginia families file a lawsuit against negligent end-of-life facilities.
You deserve compensation for the emotional distress you’ve faced and any costs you had to pay out of pocket to right the wrongs committed against your deceased loved one.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact Us, You Have Legal Rights
Many people don’t know that funeral home negligence and malpractice is common in the U.S. For this reason, victims are usually not aware of their rights after suffering this type of abuse.
Family members of a deceased individual may be entitled to compensation to account for the devastating emotional stress these horrible actions can cause. Stewart Bell, PLLC understands the psychological impact funeral home negligence can have on a family. Our compassionate legal team is committed to fighting for your rights and punishing facilities who commit these heinous acts.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation, so we can review your case. Our law firm is located in Charleston, however, we also serve Huntington and other cities across West Virginia. We want to assist you and your family in any way that we can.