Nursing homes are not always as safe as you may assume. If your loved one suffers a broken leg while living in a nursing home, it could be a sign of mistreatment. The elderly generally have weaker bones, and force applied via direct impact or twisting is often enough to cause a fracture. Causes of broken legs could be as innocent as a fall or as disturbing as long-term elder abuse.
Broken Bones in Nursing Homes May be a Warning Sign
There are several ways the elderly may injure themselves while living in a nursing home. But if your loved one suffers one or more broken bones, it could be the result of neglect.
Administrative Neglect as the Cause of Broken Legs
Say that your loved one lives in a nursing home, and you come to find out that they broke their leg in a fall. Your first reaction may be: why was my grandma/mom/dad/uncle in a position where they could fall?
It is a fair question, and it points to the reality that neglect is more common in nursing homes than many want to believe. Neglect, along with the other forms of mistreatment that may befall the elderly, can sometimes be detected by the presence of broken bones.
Some forms of nursing home neglect that may lead to broken bones include:
- Failing to implement home-wide video monitoring to see when residents are in risky situations
- Failing to vet staffers before hiring them, which could result in abusive staff members being put in charge of elderly residents
- Allowing residents to travel without assistance throughout the facility as a policy matter
- Failing to document the ailments and limitations of each resident
- Failing to train each member of staff in proper care scheduling, techniques, and emergency response practices
These are only a few of the ways that a nursing home may put your loved one at risk of suffering one or more geriatric fractures.
Caregiver Neglect and Abuse as a Cause of Broken Bones
In best-case scenarios, your loved one’s broken bone may have been the result of an unavoidable, unforeseeable accident. More concerning is when your loved one’s fracture results from negligent care at the administrative level. But the idea that those charged with providing hands-on care for your loved one are either negligent, abusive, or both is perhaps the most alarming possibility.
Some forms of negligence and abuse at the caregiver level that could result in broken bone(s) include:
- Failing or refusing to assist your loved one when they need to get out of bed, resulting in a fall
- Failing to check on residents regularly in person
- Failing to properly monitor video feeds and other outlets used to monitor residents
- Engaging in forms of abuse, such as throwing residents down, tripping them, twisting their limbs, or striking them
These possibilities are unfathomable to most of us, but research suggests that the likelihood of abuse is greater for nursing home residents and that the likelihood of abuse increases with age.
What to Do if You Suspect Neglect or Abuse
If you believe that your loved one’s broken bone(s) resulted from abuse or neglect, call law enforcement immediately. Your suspicions may be especially warranted if you were the one who discovered the fracture, and you did not receive a convincing explanation of how the fracture occurred.
The next step may be to call a lawyer, who can help you explore your options for bringing a case against the nursing home.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer can assist you if your loved one was the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home facility. They can:
- Meet with you and your loved one to document your accounts of abuse and neglect
- Initiate legal action immediately to ensure compliance with any relevant statutes of limitation.
- Notify the nursing home of your litigation and request cooperation to interview any relevant administrators, staffers, and residents who may have perpetrated or witnessed mistreatment of your loved one
- Handle all legal duties necessary to reaching a judgement or settlement
- Ensuring that your loved one’s rights are protected throughout the legal process
Do Not Wait to Call Our Team
Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help protect your loved one from suffering any additional harm. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case. Our clients pay nothing up front, nothing out of pocket, and we only get paid if we secure a judgement or settlement on your behalf.