Wandering is a common behavior among nursing home residents, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 60% of dementia patients will wander.
Nursing homes that fail to provide adequate supervision or security may be held liable for residents who leave the facility and are unable to protect themselves from harm.
If your spouse or parent suffered injuries related to wandering or elopement, you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. A Los Angeles wandering and elopement lawyer can be your legal advocate to seek compensation from negligent facilities.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case review with a team member.
Why Wandering and Elopement Are Dangerous
According to the Mayo Clinic, dementia causes confusion and disorientation. Wandering can happen at any stage of dementia, even in patients who had no prior incidents.
Wandering can quickly become dangerous. Wandering nursing home residents with cognitive impairments do not have the same reactions or reflexes as an unimpaired adult who is simply lost. They may not remember who to call for help.
Nursing home residents who wander or elope can suffer:
- Falls that lead to broken bones or concussions
- Burns or electrical shocks
- Physical or sexual assault or violence
- Exposure (extreme heat or cold)
- Adverse reactions from lack of medication
- Dehydration and starvation
Nursing homes that fail to provide supervision or prevent residents from wandering away should be held accountable. A Los Angeles wandering and elopement lawyer can help you build a case for compensation.
Difference Between Wandering and Elopement
Wandering might be an endless circling of places within the facility itself. A resident may have a familiar, if meandering, walk from room to room.
Elopement, meanwhile, is a purposeful, often repeated attempt to leave the premises. Nursing home residents who elope may feel compelled to leave the facility, often for unrealistic pursuits. They might be searching for loved ones or even reliving experiences, such as going to work or reporting for military duty.
Why You Call a Wandering and Elopement Lawyer
You probably did a lot of research before selecting a nursing home for your spouse or parent. You entrusted the staff with keeping your loved one safe and comfortable. Instead, you receive a call or alert that your loved one was found wandering—or worse yet, that your loved one is missing.
Los Angeles nursing homes follow state and federal guidelines. They owe your loved one a duty of care to uphold accepted practices for long-term care. When they fail to uphold this duty, they can and should be held accountable.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help in several ways:
- We report the nursing home’s failure to protect your loved one to proper agencies.
- We can seek compensation from the facility’s malpractice or liability insurance.
- We can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, moving expenses, and other losses.
- We can shine a light on unethical or illegal business practices as a warning to other nursing home patients and their families.
We take care of the details so that you can concentrate on getting help for your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Wandering and Elopement Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 842-6336
When You Should Call a Lawyer
The first and most important action to take is to make sure your loved one is safe. They may need urgent or emergency care. Once your loved one is either safe at the nursing home, another nursing home, the hospital, or your home, you may want to call a wandering and elopement lawyer.
Nursing home abuse is considered a personal injury. Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1 imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. This is not a lot of time when you consider that building a case against a nursing home takes time to document evidence.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can work to protect your rights after you have made your loved one safe. Call today to get started.
Los Angeles Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Compensatory Damages in a Wandering and Elopement Case
Nursing homes that are lax in security or supervision can be liable if your loved one was injured wandering or leaving the premises.
A personal injury lawyer can pursue awards for damages that might include:
- Ambulance, emergency room, or urgent care services
- Other related medical costs
- Relocation and moving expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If your loved one died due to wandering or elopement, an attorney can pursue damages through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
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Actions to Reduce the Risk of Wandering
Some nursing home residents wander because they are bored. Others may forget where they are and become determined to “go home.” Responsible nursing homes balance individual freedom and dignity with safety precautions that protect residents from harming themselves.
The Mayo Clinic suggests possible deterrents to wandering and elopement that a nursing home could put in place:
- Warning alarms: Pressure-sensitive alarms on the bed or a mat by the door can alert staff to a wandering resident. Place motion-activated warning lights or cameras in hallways and at exterior exits.
- GPS devices: Providing residents with a GPS tracking device offers them privacy but also allows employees to pinpoint their location should they wander off the premises quickly.
- Offer distractions: Nursing homes should offer a variety of activities and supervised events. They might also have a sign in the patient’s room that tells them when they may expect a visit from a loved one.
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Negligent Nursing Homes Should Pay for Your Damages
You and your loved one have already suffered due to a wandering incident. It may be time to call a Los Angeles wandering and elopement lawyer to help you fight for compensation and justice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case review with a team member.