Losing a loved one is undoubtedly one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. During such a difficult time, families often entrust funeral homes to handle their loved one’s remains with the utmost care and respect. Unfortunately, not all funeral homes live up to these expectations, and instances of funeral home negligence are becoming increasingly common.
In light of the suspected negligence taking place at Heinz Funeral Home, the Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC, are here to help. If you believe that the remains of your loved one have been mishandled by Heinz Funeral Home, contact our experienced attorneys right away to get the help you deserve.
To keep you well-informed, this article will outline what constitutes funeral home negligence, what legal recourse families have, and what someone should do if they suspect the remains of their loved ones have been mishandled.
What is funeral home negligence?
Funeral home negligence refers to any act, omission, or breach of duty by a funeral home or its staff that results in harm to a family. This harm can be physical, emotional, or financial and can include:
- Mishandling remains
- Cremating the wrong body
- Improperly embalming a body
- Losing remains
- Stealing personal property on the body
- Illegally harvesting organs or tissue
- Dropping a body in transit
- Failing to obtain necessary permits
- Providing inadequate services
- Overcharging for services
Funeral home negligence can occur at any stage of the funeral procession, from the point of preparation, to transportation of the remains, to the funeral service, and burial.
What legal recourse do families have?
Families who have been impacted by funeral home negligence can seek legal recourse. Depending on the circumstances, families may be able to file a lawsuit for damages caused by the funeral home’s negligence. These damages can include:
- compensatory damages, such as the cost of the cremation
- punitive damages to punish the funeral home for its wrongdoing, such as damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress
Families can also file complaints against the funeral home with state regulatory agencies, such as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
What should someone do if they suspect funeral home negligence?
If someone suspects that their loved one’s remains have been mishandled, they should immediately contact a funeral home negligence attorney. An attorney can help the family determine whether there is evidence of negligence, and if so, what legal options are available. With an attorney’s help, the family can also seek the advice of a licensed funeral director to determine if the services provided were in accordance with state and federal regulations. Families should also file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to ensure that the funeral home is held accountable for any wrongdoing.
How can families prevent funeral home negligence?
While families cannot always prevent funeral home negligence from occurring, they can take steps to reduce the risk. Before selecting a funeral home, families should research the provider’s reputation, get recommendations from friends and family, and check the funeral home’s licensing and regulatory history. Families should also request an itemized price list to avoid unexpected costs and fees. During the funeral process, families should closely monitor the services and transportation of their loved one’s remains and report any concerns or mishandling immediately.
Unfortunately, even when families take preventative measures, the funeral home may still be negligent. In those cases, you should have legal representation prepared to fight for your peace.
Contact The Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC today
Funeral home negligence can have lasting effects on families who have already experienced great loss. If you suspect that your loved one’s remains have been mishandled, contact our experienced attorneys right away to ensure that you receive the justice and closure you deserve.
We’ll fight for the peace Heinz Funeral Home promised.