It is essential for your loved one who lives in a nursing home to find a balance between safety, independence, and well-being. Breaking a bone as an older adult is one of the biggest threats to enjoying life in old age. A Danish study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that people age 50 and older who broke a bone had a higher excessive mortality rate (or rise in unexpected deaths).
Long-term care facilities like nursing homes provide constant care for older people with medical needs require to maintain their quality of life. If your loved one suffered a broken bone in a nursing home, a Los Angeles bone fractures and breaks lawyer could help protect their rights and fight for compensation for their injuries. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case review with a team member.
About Bone Health for Older Adults
When people do not take preventative bone, muscle, and joint health into consideration while they are still young and healthy, they have an increased risk of bone fragility problems as older adults. The National Institutes of Health explains that people lose more bone than they build as they get older and can develop osteoporosis if they lose too much bone density.
Women suffer from depleted levels of the hormone estrogen that usually helps to rebuild bones, accelerating their bone loss. Because of this hormone loss, women are naturally more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, but men can also get the disease.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) reported that two million people broke a bone because of osteoporosis, with studies showing that nearly half of all women and one-fourth of all men age 50 and older will suffer a fracture from the disease. The NOF also pointed out other complications of the disease, such as depression caused by lack of mobility, with related costs totaling $19 billion every year.
Nursing homes provide medical care around the clock for your loved one in a safe and nurturing environment. When you decide to move your loved one into a nursing home, you should not have to worry about preventable injuries like broken bones.
If your loved one suffered a broken bone at their Southern California facility, a Los Angeles bone fractures and breaks lawyer can review all the facts regarding their injury and determine if their care plan considered this well-known health risk. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
Legal Options for Bone Fractures in Nursing Homes
Not only should you and your loved one not have to worry when making the transition to nursing home living, but it is a legal right. State and federal regulations apply to the protection of your loved one from preventable accidents like bone fractures.
Nursing Home Bill of Rights
California nursing home law incorporates all federal laws and regulations, focusing on ensuring a good quality of care for all nursing home residents, regardless of that individual’s condition or means of payment. HSC § 1599.1 establishes a nursing home patient’s rights and assures that they apply to all California nursing home residents.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid also provides a federal list of fundamental rights for all nursing home residents, intending to help maintain dignity for older adults and protect their individualism and dignity. Federal and state law ensures that nursing home residents have the right to the following:
- Respect: Nursing home residents can, to an agreed extent, choose which activities they participate in, wake up, eat, and go to sleep.
- Freedom from abuse and neglect: You should not tolerate any form of abuse, including emotional, physical, verbal, sexual, and financial abuse. Residents and their families also have the right to report suspected abuse when it happens.
- No restraints: The facility cannot use physical and chemical restraints unnecessarily, whether to confine residents to one location or keep them from wandering or eloping.
- Be informed about medical care: A resident and their family should have input regarding their healthcare and their choice of a primary physician.
This list does not exhaust the Resident Bill of Rights spelled out in state and federal law, clearly intended for a nursing home resident’s maximum independence. When nursing homes disregard these rights, you could consider their actions negligent.
Building Your Case
Pursuing an elder abuse case can prove tricky for anyone dealing with it for the first time, so you might want to discuss your case with a Los Angeles bone fractures and breaks lawyer. All elder abuse and neglect can cause harm, whether the intentions behind it were evil. If your loved one experienced a broken bone that incurred hefty medical treatment costs—or worse, caused their death—you could pursue one of the following claims:
- Personal injury: Personal injury lawsuits seek compensation for medical bills, moving expenses to a new facility, pain and suffering, and other damages incurred because of a broken bone. CCP § 335.1 sets the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits at two years.
- Breach of contract: In most nursing home settings, you sign a written contract that details your loved one’s plan of care. However, CIV § 1624 states that breach of contract can also apply to some oral agreements.
- Wrongful death: You can file a lawsuit to pursue damages when the nursing home’s negligence led to a bone fracture that caused your loved one’s death.
The list of claims mentioned above does not exhaust your legal options in a case of elder abuse or neglect. A Los Angeles bone fractures and breaks lawyer can fully explain your options and advise you of the best course of action.
For a free legal consultation with a Bone Fractures and Breaks Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Review Your Case with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm knows what it takes to protect and defend your loved one’s rights after breaking a bone at their nursing home. You do not need to handle this type of claim alone. Call our offices at (800) 794-0444 today for a free consultation on your nursing home abuse case.