Nursing homes can be a great living option for adults who need help with daily life, but even under the supervision of trained staff, accidents can still happen. One accident in nursing homes is choking, which can occur if the staff members are negligent. Choking can lead to serious trauma, injury, and even death.
If your loved one has suffered from a choking accident while living in a nursing home, there could be compensation available. If you are interested in discussing your situation with an Atlanta choking lawyer, call (800) 842-6336 today and a team member at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can answer your questions.
Understanding the causes of choking can help you determine if another party could have been at fault and if they could have helped prevent other accidents of the same nature. Generally speaking, choking occurs any time an airway is obstructed.
This can be caused by a piece of food, medication, dentures, or any foreign object that is inhaled or swallowed. Some common causes of choking include but are not limited to:
- Eating too fast or swallowing large bites of food
- Talking while eating
- Falling asleep while eating
- Putting foreign objects in your mouth
- Medication side effects
- Lack of necessary supervision
While anyone is in danger of choking, there are several risk factors that increase the probability of a choking accident.
A contributing risk factor for choking is age, as choking accidents tend to occur among very young or elderly victims. Elderly adults are at a great risk of choking for the following reasons:
- Caregiver mistakes or negligence: Some elderly adults, like those living in nursing homes, rely on caregivers and trained staff to help them with their daily needs, including eating. If a caregiver fails to adequately supervise the administration of food or if a caregiver neglects a resident’s special dietary needs, this could lead to choking and may be grounds for legal action.
- Medication: Some medications have side effects that can increase the chances of choking. Medications that cause drowsiness or impair mental or physical function can make eating difficult. In a nursing home, the staff members should know about the medication regimens of all residents and be sure to avoid feeding a resident when they could be in danger of choking at the given time.
- Cognitive impairment: Older adults sometimes experience cognitive impairments that can be dangerous while eating or can even create confusion and lead to non-consumable items being ingested. It is the nursing home staff’s responsibility to prevent any dangerous behavior by effectively supervising residents.
- Physical impairment: If motor skills are compromised in any way, this can affect the ability to chew food and can have tragic results.
- Oral obstructions: Dentures and other oral fixtures can become loose and even obstruct an airway, leading to choking.
It is a sad reality that choking is a significant problem among the elderly population, as the alarming statistics suggest.
According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 40 million people visit emergency rooms due to unintentional accidents annually, costing millions of dollars in healthcare expenses. The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that in 2017, over half of recording choking deaths involved a victim over 74 years of age. Because many choking victims are elderly, a victim may have been living in a nursing home at the time of a choking accident or death. If your loved one has suffered from choking while living in a nursing home, another party could be to blame for this traumatic and tragic experience.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requires all nursing homes and staff to provide the highest possible standard of care under the Nursing Home Reform Act. If your loved one was not treated properly or if negligence could have played a role in their choking accident, this could be a direct violation of the law and grounds for legal action.
In some cases, you could recover compensation if a facility failed to act appropriately, and it resulted in the suffering of a loved one. To find out more about our legal services, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm as soon as you can.
Atlanta Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Recoverable Compensation for Victims and Family Members
If your loved one has been the victim of a preventable choking accident while living in a nursing home, they and your family could be entitled to various forms of compensation. While not all cases result in compensation, victims and family members can sometimes collect:
- Reimbursement for legal fees
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Damages for emotional suffering
- Much more
If you are interested in exploring your legal options, it could be helpful to discuss your situation with a lawyer.
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Dealing with the trauma of a choking accident can be a very stressful and difficult time for you and those you love. While you are processing this event and coping with the aftermath, taking legal action may not be your priority. While legal action is not for everyone, remember that you could recover compensation for losses and suffering that could make life easier as your loved one and family recovers.
The legal process can be confusing, but the Atlanta choking lawyer Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Call (800) 842-6336 today, and a team member will be available for a free case review. You have about two years to file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Contact us today and learn more about what you can do next.