Nursing homes are responsible for looking out for our elderly family members who cannot take care of themselves anymore. However, they can still fall short of the state’s standards for them, putting your loved ones at risk from deadly diseases such as sepsis. It is only natural that you would want to have justice for your elderly loved one and family, which is why the office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to assist with your legal concerns.
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Understanding the Dangers of Sepsis
Sepsis is a potentially fatal health condition that develops when the immune system releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight infections. But instead of fighting said infection, the immune system spreads inflammation throughout the body instead.
Early on, sepsis patients show symptoms of fever, breathing difficulties, and increased heart rates. As it becomes more severe, it affects how your organs work and eventually causes septic shock. Once it reaches that stage, your blood pressure drops drastically, and your organs start failing. The worst cases of septic shock result in death.
How Nursing Home Residents Can Get Sepsis
Anyone can get sepsis, but elderly nursing home residents are often in more danger than other people. Elders usually have weakened immune systems or preexisting conditions like diabetes and hypertension. When faced with an infection, the immune system must work harder, making it more likely to trigger sepsis.
Sepsis can start whenever a bacteria or virus manages to enter the body. Germs can enter through small, untreated scrapes, bedsores, and burns. But they can also get in via IV lines, catheters, and breathing tubes — basically anything that can introduce foreign bodies into the system.
A nursing home that does not keep its facilities and equipment clean exposes its residents to more bacteria. Additionally, leaving an elder’s open wounds and sores untreated allows germs more ways to get inside their body.
Working with an attorney can help determine what exactly caused sepsis to trigger in your elderly loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Sepsis Lawyer serving San Francisco, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Homes Residents Have Rights
Nursing home residents in San Francisco and the rest of California are entitled to clean, comfortable living conditions, proper hygiene, and balanced nutrition. Staff oversee ensuring that each senior has protection against any health hazards, including bacterial exposure and, therefore, sepsis. The caretakers also must monitor their residents’ health and, with the senior’s consent, provide medical treatment if needed.
If you suspect, or if you already have evidence, that a nursing home is violating their residents’ rights, you should report it to the district’s Department of Health office or the local authorities as soon as possible.
If your loved one has gotten sepsis because of the caretaker’s lapses, a San Francisco sepsis lawyer can help you file neglect and abuse charges against them. You can contact the office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm if you need any legal assistance.
San Francisco Sepsis Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Elder Neglect Has Serious Consequences
California’s Elder Abuse Act considers any act of negligence against older adults to be a form of abuse. A nursing home that does not provide adequate care for its residents is liable for anything that happens to the seniors under their custody. They can be held liable to pay for damages, including medical expenses, rehabilitation, therapy, and lost income. If the elderly victim has unfortunately died from their condition, the guilty party can be held liable to pay for funeral and burial costs as well.
Aside from paying compensation in the civil lawsuit, defendants can also face hefty fines and prison time too. The state has also made elder abuse a crime. In Section 368 of the California Penal Code, anyone who causes the elderly victim to suffer grievous injuries or die can face up to a year in jail or be put in state prison for up to four years. They may also receive a fine of up to $6,000.
And that does not yet take the elder’s age into consideration. If the victim is below 70 years old, the defendant gets an additional three years. If the elder is over 70, the court adds five years to the sentence.
Not reporting or deliberately withholding information regarding nursing home or elder abuse is punishable by law as well. Section 15630 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code states that anyone found doing so may land in jail for a year or fined up to $5,000.
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Time is Limited to File Your Claim in California
The statute of limitations for elder abuse claims, including sepsis lawsuits, is similar to other personal injuries and wrongful death claims in California. Section 335.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure allows you to file your case within two years. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can help you develop your lawsuit so you can submit it before the deadline.
Furthermore, you do not need to wait for the state attorney to file criminal charges against the nursing home or caretaker. Since civil and criminal courts operate separately, you can file a civil claim on your own as long as it complies with the given time limit. It may allow you to receive compensation in case the criminal court proceedings might not satisfy your need for justice.
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Get Help from a San Francisco Sepsis Attorney
Nursing home negligence that results in life-threatening illnesses like sepsis should not remain unnoticed or unpunished. Here at the office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we will always support your need for justice and closure. Our San Francisco sepsis lawyer is ready to guide you throughout the entire legal process and represent you in court. We have handled nursing home abuse cases all over the country for over 35 years. As our firm operates on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case.
Our office is available for free case consultations 24/7. If you have any inquiries, you can leave a message on our website or call us.