Most people envision themselves passing away peacefully in their golden years, surrounded by the love of the family members. We’re social creatures, and for many of us, the only thing scarier than the thought of death is the thought of dying alone.
We tend to think of dying alone in sentimental terms, but it causes many practical concerns as well. In this article, we’ll cover some of the health implications and legal requirements for unattended deaths and their cleanup.
Why is unattended death cleanup so critical?
As we mentioned in the introduction, there aren’t many things more sad or scary than dying alone. Oftentimes, in the case of unattended deaths, no one knows there’s a dead body present until they smell the odors of bodily fluids and decomposition. A decomposing body presents a serious biohazard as the decomposition of a dead body releases dangerous pathogens into the air. The odor alone can be enough to make you sick.
Death cleanup specialists have to have tough skin to work in such a difficult situation. Furthermore, it’s also important for them to show compassion as they perform their work. They have to think about the dignity of the deceased and the feelings of the departed’s family members as they move through the cleanup process. The work they do protects both mental and physical health as unattended deaths can be taxing in more ways than you can fathom.
Who’s responsible for unattended death cleanup?
People often have questions about who’s responsible for cleanup at unattended death and crime scenes. Ultimately, it depends on where the death occurs. If it’s in the deceased’s house or apartment, their estate is responsible for cleanup. However, if the deceased is a renter and their death is ruled to be a result of their dwelling being unsafe, the landlord could be responsible for the unattended death clean up.
If you’re a landlord and a tenant passes away in one of your units, you have to think about the possibility that you or your building could be implicated in the cause of death. When people die alone in an apartment, questions about the security and air quality of the building could begin to arise. Ultimately, you have to make sure your property is liveable for your tenants, so the quicker you get your unit clean, the better for you, the family members of the deceased, and your other tenants.
It’s a good idea to go ahead and foot the bill for death scene cleanup yourself. You should also speak to a lawyer like Howard Fensterman to protect your interests in case questions about your liability in the situation arise.
What are some ways you can pay for death cleanup?
As you can imagine, death cleanup isn’t free. The costs depend on the size of the area that needs to be cleaned and the amount of hazardous waste. The chances are that the first responders on the scene will be able to give you a lead on second responders (death cleanup crews) in your area.
Humans are sentimental and social creatures, and dying alone is a fear that many of us share. Unattended deaths are taxing in many ways that can affect the mental and physical health of those closest to the situation. It’s even more sobering when you consider that most unattended deaths are due to violence, sickness, suicide, or sudden death from natural causes. So, death scene cleanup is both a biohazard and mental health concern.
If the unattended death occurs in a rental property, the landlord could be held responsible for cleanup if circumstances dictate that they’re somehow at fault for the unattended death. Furthermore, the landlord has to think of other tenants and their right to live in a safe and clean environment. Ultimately, death scene cleanup is a step toward getting closure for family members, protects the health of other tenants, and promotes the dignity of the deceased.