When a family makes the difficult decision to move their sickly or elderly loved one into a nursing home facility, they are usually under the impression that their loved one will be in safe hands and that they will get the care, protection, and medical treatment they need.
However, as it turns out, resident abuse and neglect are quite common in nursing homes in Georgia and across the country. In fact, reports from the National Center on Elder Abuse suggest that one in 10 people in nursing facilities will undergo some form of abuse or neglect. What’s more, resident abuse and neglect in nursing homes account for over $5 billion in direct medical costs each year.
Finding out that your vulnerable loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse in a place where they are supposed to be getting the best type of care can be very distressing and infuriating. Understandably, you want to see the caregivers or the facility held accountable for the harm caused to your loved one.
Fortunately, our Tucker nursing home injury lawyers at The Hurt Boss can help your family get justice and maximum compensation for all the damages suffered. We have years of experience fighting for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and we are prepared to do the same for your loved one.
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What Are Some of the Common Accidents Involving Injuries at Nursing Homes?
Resident abuse and neglect by caregivers is a common cause of injury and death among seniors, accounting for over 20% of high-risk Medicare emergency room cases. Failure to properly supervise nursing home residents significantly increases their risk of injury and can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing. This is why nursing homes are held to a higher standard of care.
A report by the National Center on Elder Abuse found high levels of abuse and neglect in nursing homes.
Here are some of the common types of accidents that lead to injuries in nursing homes:
Did you know that falls are responsible for more than 50% of all serious injuries among nursing home residents? In fact, falls are by far the leading cause of injury and death among people in nursing facilities. In 2018, more than 18,000 elderly adults lost their lives as a result of a fall, or complications arising during the treatment of injuries sustained in a fall.
Residents in nursing homes are prone to falls due to issues like deteriorating vision, weakened muscles and balance, and dizziness and drowsiness caused by medications that they commonly use. As a result, care providers need to be extra vigilant to prevent falls from happening.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid reports that elderly adults in nursing facilities are twice as likely to fall compared to others in their age group. The risk of falls in nursing facilities is attributed to factors such as lack of adequate supervision by staff, inexperienced staff, and environmental hazards like poor lighting, wet floors, cluttered areas, and uneven surfaces. A nursing home may also give residents poorly fitting footwear.
When it comes to administering medications to patients in a nursing home, there is always room for some simple mistakes. There are many kinds of medication errors that may be committed by a skilled nursing facility, all bearing different consequences for the patient.
Medication errors like not correctly mixing the medication or giving the medication a few minutes before or after the prescribed time are considered minor medication errors. As per Federal regulations, these and other errors that fall within the 5% medication complication limit are considered acceptable.
However, there are other types of medication errors that can lead to serious injury or even death to the resident. Federal regulations are very strict when it comes to these types of medication errors. Nursing facilities will receive a health citation and a potentially heavy fine for errors that cause actual harm to a resident.
These errors can include administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, dispensing expired medication, injecting medication into the wrong area, prescribing the wrong medication, and others.
Each year, 1.5 million patients are injured as a result of medication errors in the US. Of these, 800,000 injuries, or more than half, happen in nursing homes.
Inadequate staff and poor staff training have been identified as some of the root causes of medication errors in nursing homes. If your loved one suffers an injury or dies as a result of a medication error, you can take legal action against the facility.
Figures from several studies indicate that one in five nursing home residents will suffer from inadequate hydration and nutrition. It should go without saying that feeding a resident who struggles to complete even the simplest of tasks can be difficult. And in some cases, an underlying medical condition may lead to malnutrition.
However, some cases of severe malnutrition are usually the result of negligence on the part of the nursing facility. It is important for elderly residents to be fed an appropriate diet according to their needs. Essentially they should get three nutritious meals per day with not more than fourteen hours between the first and the last meal of the day. The staff should also ensure that every resident gets proper hydration.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from poor nutrition as a result of the negligence of the nursing home staff, you need to get in touch with a Tucker nursing home injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Accidents Due to Lack of Supervision
Patients in nursing homes often require a higher level of care and supervision to ensure their safety and wellbeing. As they have much less independence than residents in other communities, patients in nursing homes rely on their caregivers to safely complete even the simplest tasks. Lack of proper supervision can lead to accidents like choking, falls, bed rail entrapment, burns, wheelchair accidents, and so on.
Wrongful death in a nursing home can result from a wide range of scenarios. But it often boils down to the nursing home doing or failing to do something in a particular situation and end up putting the life of a resident in jeopardy.
Some of the common causes of nursing home wrongful deaths include:
- Medical malpractice
- Falls caused by lack of proper supervision
- Physical abuse and mistreatment
- Residents wandering unsupervised and leaving the facility
If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligent or wrongful acts of a nursing facility, you can file a wrongful death claim against the facility and seek compensation for financial and emotional damages.
What Needs to be Proven to Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home Facility?
To file a successful personal injury lawsuit against a nursing home facility, you need to present sufficient evidence proving the following elements of negligence.
The nursing home facility owed your loved one a duty of care. Nursing care facilities have a legal duty to provide adequate protection, safety, and care, and to avoid behaviors or conditions that can potentially cause harm to their residents. Some examples include:
- The nursing home violated its duty of care. For example, by not providing adequate protection.
- The actions or inactions of the nursing home directly caused the injury or death suffered by the resident.
- The resident suffered actual damages, for example, monetary losses, as a result of the facility’s breach of duty of care.
Do Nursing Homes Need to Report Accidents Involving Injuries?
Yes. Nursing home facilities are required by regulatory agencies to file incident reports regarding instances of neglect, abuse, or injuries. The nursing home is required to file the report immediately or within hours in case an injury is involved.
How Can Hurt Boss Help Me With a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home?
Filing a successful personal injury claim against a nursing home facility is not easy. Besides the fact that you, as the plaintiff, bear the burden of proof, you also have to navigate through the complex legal system and deal with stiff resistance from the nursing home. It is, thus, in your best interest to hire someone who has experience tackling such cases.
Here’s how a Tucker nursing home injury lawyer can help with your case:
- Evaluating your case to determine its validity and providing knowledgeable legal advice.
- Conducting a comprehensive investigation into the case and collecting all the necessary evidence to prove fault and support your claims. This also includes working with leading experts to determine and prove the value of the damages suffered.
- Handling the insurance paperwork and court filings. Remember there are deadlines and procedures to adhere to.
- Negotiating a favorable settlement agreement.
- Preparing your case for trial and providing effective legal representation in court.
Get Help from a Trusted Tucker Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
We all want what is best for our sickly and elderly loved ones, and sometimes, this means leaving the under the professional care of nursing home care providers.
However, not all nursing home facilities are created the same and not many are committed to their mission of providing the best standards of care and protection to their residents. Learning about the abuse or neglect of your loved one in the hands of trusted nursing home care providers can be devastating.
If your loved one has suffered injuries or died as a result of the negligent acts of a nursing home, we can help. Our team of dedicated Tucker nursing home injury attorneys will not rest until you and your family get justice and the compensation that you deserve. Call The Hurt Boss today at 678-806-7715 to schedule a free consultation.