Elderly people may need more care than family members can provide. Making the decision to send a loved one to a nursing home can be difficult for families, which is why it is crucial that these facilities uphold their duty of taking care of their residents.
It can be distressing to find out that your loved one suffered a preventable injury due to abuse or neglect. Broken bones or fractures are the most common injuries suffered in nursing homes, and they are often related to falls. A study by the journal The BMJ found that 90 percent of hip fractures in people aged 65 years or older come from falls.
If your loved one suffered a fracture or broken bone while living in a nursing home, you may be entitled to collect compensation on their behalf. A Louisville bone fractures and breaks lawyer can help you investigate what caused the fracture and determine who might be liable for your loved one’s injuries. Our team wants to represent you and help you build your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 for a free case evaluation.
Broken Bones and Fractures Present Unique Dangers to Nursing Home Residents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 percent of all falls result in serious injuries, such as bone fractures. Even minor falls can cause serious injuries to people aged 65 years or older. A fall might render an elderly person incapable of moving without support for months.
If your loved one suffered a fracture or broken bone, they will need time to recover. This might take longer for older adults because healing becomes slower and bone density reduces as people age. Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to lose density, affects many older adults, especially women.
Rehabilitative care for older adults may also take longer due to slower healing processes and other health conditions. There is a chance that the person might not recover from the injury. They may need permanent assistance if their bone fracture or injury cannot heal back to its original condition.
The length of rehabilitative care and recovery after a fracture depends on the following conditions:
- Presence of chronic health conditions, such as osteoporosis
- The location and severity of the fracture
- The victim’s ability to be consistent with their physical therapy, both financially and physically
The type of fracture a person suffers might also affect how their healing process might go. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) lists the following as common types of fractures:
- Stable fractures: This is the least severe fracture, where the broken ends can easily align, allowing for quicker healing.
- Compression fractures: These fractures are the most common type of fracture in nursing homes. They occur when discs slip or separate in the back.
- Open or compound fractures: These fractures are more severe and visible, which can cause the broken bone to break the skin.
- Comminuted fractures: These fractures occur when bones break into three or more pieces and may need complex surgeries to rectify.
Fractures may also be transverse (broken horizontally) or oblique (broken diagonally). Every individual follows a different healing pattern after a fracture. The victim’s healing pattern will determine how much damages the at-fault party or parties may be liable to compensate.
Another complication of fractures in older people is that they may suffer chronic pain at the site or in the limb where they were hurt. Even if they heal completely, they may be afraid to move independently, which creates even more dependence on their caregivers.
Nursing Home Abuse Fractures
Fractures do not always point to abuse, but they are a cause for concern if your loved one lives in a nursing home. If your loved one suffered a fracture while living in a nursing home, you should investigate what led to the fracture and rule out any possible wrongdoing.
In nursing homes, fractures are often caused by caregivers’ negligence. Part of a caregiver’s job is to monitor residents and ensure that their spaces are safe for their movement. Residents who need assistance should receive it promptly. However, many nursing homes are understaffed, meaning that someone is likely to drop the ball somewhere. If injury results because of negligence, the caregiver and nursing home may be liable.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 if you would like to discuss your case and see how we may be able to help you pursue compensation from a neglectful or abusive nursing home staff member.
You Must Determine if Your Loved One’s Accident Was Preventable
It is important to have your loved one’s case reviewed by a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Louisville. Our legal team can help you determine who was at fault for your loved one’s accident and whether you have legal options to potentially hold the at-fault party or parties accountable for their abuse or neglect.
If there was a chance that the accident was directly or indirectly preventable, it may be possible to seek compensation. An example of a direct cause is a fall because of a wet floor at the nursing home. An indirect cause is a fall because the resident was going to the bathroom after calling for assistance with no response.
Even if the accident happened unintentionally (i.e., neglect rather than abuse), your loved one suffered an injury, and the liable party or parties should be held accountable. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for personal injury is generally one year from the accident date, according to the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) §413.140.
As the plaintiff, you must be able to prove how the nursing home’s actions or inactions led to your loved one’s injuries and the losses and damages they suffered. Building a strong case to compel the courts or jury to rule in your favor takes time.
A Louisville bone fractures and breaks lawyer can provide the legal counsel you need to structure your case. Depending on the facts, you may file a personal injury lawsuit, wrongful death lawsuit, or medical malpractice lawsuit. In some cases, you may be able to file a breach of contract lawsuit. There are many other options, depending on the specific facts of your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Louisville Bone Fractures and Breaks Injuries Lawyer serving Louisville, call (800) 794-0444
Get Help from a Louisville Bone Fractures and Breaks Lawyer
If your loved one was injured because the caregivers at their nursing home failed to supervise or care for them, you might have legal options to seek justice. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we have represented numerous nursing home neglect and abuse victims. We work hard and are always willing to fight on our clients’ behalf.
Contact our law firm at (800) 842-6336 today for a free consultation about your case.