Assisted living facilities can be an excellent solution for older adults who can no longer live without assistance but typically do not need the same level of supervision and care required by nursing home residents. Assisted living can be a great choice for those who relish living relatively independently but also have assistance at hand for when they need it.
While assisted living facilities do not have to abide by the same stringent federal and state laws as nursing homes, they still have important responsibilities toward their residents. If your loved one suffered an accident in their assisted living facility, and you wonder whether you could hold the facility to account, consider consulting with a Columbus assisted living accident lawyer. A lawyer will be able to assess your claim and inform you about your next best steps. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to claim your free consultation by dialing (800) 842-6336.
Accidents in Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities provide their residents with certain types of assistance and help, which can include providing meals, cleaning, administering medication, and helping residents with personal hygiene. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) licenses and inspects assisted living facilities in the state, with each property receiving at least one unannounced inspection in a 15-month period. Inspectors evaluate the standard of care and services in the facility.
Accidents can happen anywhere. However, if the management or staff of the assisted living facility acted negligently, causing a resident’s accident and injuries, the senior and their family could have legal recourse. Examples of accidents due to negligence can include:
Slip and Fall Accidents
Falls can be a common problem for adults above the age of 65 and over. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls can cause devastating injuries that may even threaten seniors’ independence.
While not all falls qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, you could potentially have a claim if the assisted living facility management failed to maintain the property adequately or allowed dangerous conditions to persist. A senior who trips and falls due to hazardous conditions could receive compensation in a lawsuit.
Examples of hazardous conditions can include the following:
- Loose floorboards
- Missing steps
- Potholes around the property
- Ice and snow accumulations on walkways
- Food and liquid spillages on floors
- Missing handrails
- Inadequate lighting
Negligent security can happen in assisted living facilities. Negligent security incidents can occur when a property lacks adequate security measures such as cameras, locks on all doors, and physical barriers, such as gates and fences.
If a resident comes to harm due to an attack, assault, or violent robbery at the property, the facility could potentially be liable for any damages. Property and business owners are generally responsible for ensuring adequate security.
Failure to Supervise
While an assisted living facility does not offer the same level of supervision and assistance as a nursing home, a resident may still require assistance with:
- Food preparation
- Household chores
- Social activities
- Supervision when taking medicines
If staff members do not act with reasonable care and attention, and an individual suffers injuries in an accident, they may have a personal injury claim against the assisted living facility.
Proving Negligence of an Assisted Living Facility
While proving negligence in a nursing home accident can be relatively clear-cut, this is not always the case in an assisted living facility due to the relative independence of seniors. Typically, those who live in assisted living facilities are free to come and go as they please and may live in private apartments, requiring only minimal assistance.
However, an assisted living facility has to ensure that common areas are safe and secure for all residents. If a resident comes to harm due to lack of maintenance or lack of security around the property and suffers injuries, the facility could be responsible for the victim’s medical expenses and other damages.
In proving negligence, a Columbus assisted living accident lawyer will have to prove the following elements of a personal injury claim:
Breach of Duty of Care
The assisted living facility owes residents a duty of care. This includes adhering to certain standards of care, observing health and safety requirements, and ensuring the adequate maintenance of the property. If the home fails to maintain living spaces, ensure safe food preparation, or provide assistance when required, they may have breached their duty.
In order to have a claim, the victim and their lawyer will have to prove that any injuries and damages are a direct result of negligence. If a resident fell down the stairs due to a broken handrail or missing step, for instance, they could recover compensation.
Without damages, there is no personal injury claim. An injured accident victim will have to prove that tangible damages exist. They may have to provide medical reports detailing any injuries, and receipts for expenses resulting from the accident.
Proving negligence of an assisted living facility can be tricky. The facility will most likely fight any claims vigorously, engaging their team of lawyers. However, your Columbus assisted living accident lawyer knows how to handle your claim. They can help with proving negligence, as well as calculating and proving the damages of a victim.
For a free legal consultation with a Assisted Living Accidents Lawyer serving Columbus, call (800) 794-0444
Compensation a Resident May Receive
If assisted living facility staff or management caused a senior’s accident and injuries due to negligence, the victim and their family may file a lawsuit and recover compensation, such as:
- Costs of medical expenses now and in the future
- Costs of any medical devices needed for recovery
- Awards for physical and mental pain and anguish
- Awards for loss of life quality
A resident could receive additional compensation, depending on the circumstances of their accident and the extent of their injuries and property damage.
Columbus Assisted Living Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
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Unfortunately, some assisted living facilities are more interested in making a profit than they are in the well-being and comfort of their residents. This can result in a lack of maintenance around a property, as well as employing too few staff or hiring caregivers without the necessary qualifications. All this can put the health and safety of residents at risk.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us for a free, no-obligation case review by dialing (800) 842-6336.
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