Our aging loved ones deserve the best care money can buy. As family members, choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home can be wrought with mixed emotions. Thankfully, many nursing homes are dedicated to caring for your family members like their own. Sadly, however, nursing home abuse and neglect is more common than anyone would like to acknowledge.
If a loved one is suffering from an illness or injury as a result of a choking incident that could have been prevented, or if you’ve lost a loved one as a result of choking, you are not without rights.
A Louisiana choking lawyer can explain your legal rights to you, advise you on how to proceed with a nursing home neglect claim, and act as your advocate every step of the way. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has been protecting the rights of nursing home residents for over 30 years. Call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation today.
Choking Accidents in the Elderly
A known risk for those over the age of 70, choking can either be momentarily traumatic or a life-altering event. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suffocation was a leading cause of death in those over 65, and this statistic includes choking. The reasons for this are multifold. As we age, even the healthiest of us can develop difficulty with swallowing. Additionally, conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, infections, and even having dentures can increase our risk of choking.
Choking prevents air from properly flowing to the lungs—either completely or partially—and can be life-threatening. The critical factor in choking accidents is the speed with which someone responds. If someone provides help immediately, there are rarely life-threatening consequences.
However, on the other hand, even just a minute or two without adequate air to the brain can result in life-altering brain damage that cannot always be reversed. If someone did not provide medical attention—either out of malice or because of inattentiveness to patient needs—the nursing home responsible for your loved one’s care can be held liable for any resulting injuries or fatalities.
Choking Accidents and Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing homes have more than a moral obligation to treat each resident with respect, compassion, and care. These facilities are held to a strict legal duty of care. Essentially, what this means is that your loved one is legally entitled to having their physical, emotional, and psycho-social needs met by responsible and competent staff members.
As part of this duty of care, Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §40:2010.8 outlines each patient’s bill of rights. Included within this bill are the rights to privacy, access to medical treatments, access to socialization, and a cleanly living environment. As part of their duty, nursing home providers are responsible for understanding each patient’s unique medical histories and ailments that might increase their risk of choking and implementing any necessary precautions to ensure the safety of each resident.
When it comes to choking, preventative measures can include:
- Close supervision during mealtimes
- Assistance with eating
- Serving food that is cut into small pieces and easy to swallow
If you believe your loved one’s choking accident could have been prevented and is the result of negligence, you have legal rights. A Louisiana choking lawyer can review your case, investigate the details of your loved one’s choking accident, and file a nursing home abuse claim on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Louisiana, call (800) 794-0444
Proving Negligence in Choking Accidents
Some acts of negligence are due to staff indifference or maliciousness. Many, however, are caused by lack of training, overworked staff members, lack of attentiveness to each patient, and rotating staff members who are unaware of the needs of each patient.
Regardless of the cause of the negligence, it is unacceptable, and you and your family deserve better. Your suspicions deserve to be heard and investigated. As a lawyer will explain, the first step in bringing forth a successful nursing home abuse case is proving negligence. This means you need to prove that your loved one did not receive the level of care they were legally entitled to—and that this failure directly caused their injury, illness, or death.
To do this, a lawyer will act as your advocate and gather evidence that includes medical records, eyewitness testimony from family members and other patients, staff accounts of the incident, video footage if possible, and a personal account from your loved one (if possible). Once the evidence has been compiled, a lawyer will then file on your behalf and work with the nursing home provider to settle out of court whenever possible.
Louisiana Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Seeking Legal Counsel in Louisiana
If your gut tells you that something is amiss with your loved one’s care, trust yourself. You know your loved one better than anyone else, and your instincts are valid. Contact the law firm of a Louisiana choking accident lawyer to review the details and guide you in how to proceed. If you have a viable case, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your expenses.
Damages can include:
- Medical Expenses: Past, present, and future medical expenses that include doctor visits, hospital visits, medication costs, rehabilitation services, and more.
- Emotional Pain and Suffering: Current and future emotional distress resulting from the injury, illness, or death.
- Funeral and Burial Costs: Any costs related to ensuring your loved one is given a proper burial. Additionally, in the event of a wrongful death suit, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship you’ve suffered.
If your loved one has suffered an illness or injury—or has lost their life—as a result of a preventable choking accident, it is up to you to act as their voice. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to hire a Louisiana choking lawyer today. Our team will walk with you every step of the way, and we don’t collect our fee until you win. Call (800) 842-6336 today for a free consultation.