As our loved ones age, their spouses, children, and other family members must often make the difficult choice between attempting to provide care themselves or placing them in a nursing home. By definition, these facilities serve the purpose of providing 24-hour supervision, including nursing care, meals, and assistance with everyday tasks. Unfortunately, nursing homes sometimes fail to provide each resident with adequate care, which can result in illness, injury, and even death.
No nursing home resident should ever suffer from malnutrition, as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires staff to meet all of their needs. If facility staff neglected the nutritional needs of you or your loved one, a Columbus malnutrition lawyer can investigate your case and determine if you qualify for financial awards. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for more information on how our legal team can help you.
Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, every resident has a right to freedom from neglect, which constitutes a crime inside a nursing facility just as it does in the outside world. The agency explains that neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to care for a person to prevent harm or pain or fails to step in during the course of a potentially harmful situation. Neglect often leaves residents to their own devices, many of whom cannot provide themselves with even the most basic care. Without help eating, they can suffer from malnutrition and its serious complications.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) highlights the alarming prevalence of this issue in nursing homes. Researchers compiled information from recent studies and found that 1 in 5 nursing home residents suffers from malnutrition and concluded that several measures, including better staff training, could help prevent these instances from occurring.
The Effects of Malnutrition on Older Adults
Contrary to popular thought, a person does not need to exhibit obvious signs of extreme malnutrition, such as low body weight, to suffer from the condition. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) describes malnutrition as deficiencies, excesses, or imbalance of nutrients, which family and friends may find difficult to spot in their loved ones until the situation has worsened.
Malnutrition poses a risk to the health of any person, but those aged 65 or over have a higher risk of suffering from serious complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, older people with unaddressed malnutrition may experience:
- A weakened immune system, which makes them more susceptible to developing an illness or infection
- Prolonged healing times for wounds
- Decreased bone mass and muscle atrophy, which increases their risk of falls and fractures
- An increased risk of hospitalization or mortality
Nursing homes have no excuse for allowing residents to suffer from malnutrition. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm about your Columbus nursing home abuse case so our legal team can get started with your free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation with a Malnutrition Lawyer serving Columbus, call (800) 842-6336
How a Columbus Malnutrition Lawyer Can Help You Prove Negligence in Your Nursing Home Abuse Case
Seniors suffer from malnutrition for many reasons, and although nursing home staff has an obligation to address those concerns and prevent the issue from developing, facilities may try to introduce other causes when faced with a potential legal claim. In order to pursue financial awards from the liable nursing home, you must prove that they directly caused the malnutrition of you or your loved one.
A lawyer can help you with this by asserting the facility’s duty of care to you or your loved one and demonstrating how their breach of this duty led to malnutrition. They can then establish that the condition led to more serious consequences, which caused the accumulation of financial losses. This process allows you to seek financial recovery on the legal basis of negligence.
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Types of Evidence that May Support Your Claim
Proving negligence in a nursing home abuse case typically involves gathering evidence to verify your claim. A Columbus malnutrition lawyer can help you with this process by determining the types of information that may strengthen your case and assist you in collecting the appropriate documents. These may include:
- Staffing logs and schedules
- Employee turnover rates
- Past complaints and violations
- Surveillance video
- Statements from witnesses at the facility
- Medical records
- Resident files
- Financial statements
After gathering evidence, your lawyer can handle communications with insurance companies, opposing legal teams, and other involved parties on your behalf.
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You May Qualify for Financial Recovery
Those who suffer from malnutrition due to nursing home neglect can experience long-term emotional and physical pain, but they may struggle with financial instability, too. Nursing homes often require significant monthly fees, and medical bills alone can result in debt. Victims and their families can often hold the nursing home accountable, and awards may include recovery for:
- Medical care related to the condition, such as emergency treatment, testing, follow-up appointments, medications, and equipment
- Funeral and burial expenses of the victim lost their life
- Pain and suffering, such as loss of consortium, physical impairment, or emotional distress
A lawyer can help you determine the types of financial recovery you may qualify for so they can pursue a fair award amount for you. In many cases, our lawyers can settle nursing home abuse cases outside of court by negotiating with the other party to decide on just compensation for your claim. However, if we cannot reach an adequate settlement amount, we will take your case in front of a jury.
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Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You Hold the Nursing Home Accountable
When you choose a nursing home for yourself or a loved one, you have a right to expect that they will provide all necessary services and care with respect and compassion. If the Columbus facility you chose failed to adhere to federal standards regarding the quality of nursing home care and you or someone in your family suffered from malnutrition as a result, our lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we do not charge anything unless we achieve financial awards in your favor. Call us today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your nursing home abuse case with our legal team.