Although most people take the ability to eat, drink, and swallow for granted, choking is an ever-present risk for everyone, but especially for nursing home residents. Various medical conditions and needs may lead to choking incidents, some of which can be fatal. Nursing home staff has a duty to keep residents safe, and if they allow them to choke, the nursing home may be liable for the costs of the resulting injuries. A Dallas choking lawyer may be able to help you and your family bring a personal injury claim against the nursing home and other potentially liable parties.
Taking legal action against a nursing home can seem like an overwhelming process. However, taking this step may not only get compensation for the injuries or loss of your loved one but also may allow you to prevent other nursing home residents from suffering a similar fate in the future. Holding nursing homes accountable may make them refrain from neglectful or abusive actions toward other residents. Call (800) 842-6336 to get in touch with My Nursing Home Lawyer and learn about how to get started on your claim.
Choking and Nursing Home Abuse
Choking is not uncommon. While many think of unintentional choking as a problem that only affects children, statistics show otherwise. According to the National Safety Council (NSC) Injury Facts 2017, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries. More than 5,000 people died from choking in the United States in 2015, and more than half of those were over the age of 74. If your loved one has suffered from this type of injury while in a nursing home, a Dallas choking lawyer may be able to help.
According to the Texas Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Quality Monitoring Program, abuse is the intentional infliction of injury, confinement, intimidation, or punishment that results in physical or emotional harm. Likewise, neglect is a form of abuse. By ignoring, not paying attention, or simply not tending to the needs of nursing home residents, staff members may cause them to suffer injuries, including unintentional choking.
For instance, if a nursing home resident has some special medication or food needs, like needing food cut into very small pieces, they may be prone to choking. A medication that causes mouth or throat dryness can lead to choking, and a lack of dentures or appropriate dental care also can lead to choking on food that the residents have not adequately chewed. Furthermore, a resident with a neurological condition that affects swallowing, like a stroke, can choke on food if the staff does not properly provide supervision or remove potentially harmful forms of food from the resident.
Other factors may contribute to choking incidents, as well. Some of these factors may include:
- Failing to administer the Heimlich maneuver or other lifesaving measures when a resident is choking, whether due to a lack of training, neglect, or failing to properly monitor the resident during mealtime
- Rushing residents to eat more quickly than they are able
- Failing to ensure that a resident is in an upright seated position before eating
- Leaving patients alone to eat when they require monitoring
All of these situations can lead to severe and even permanent injuries in nursing home residents. In the most extreme cases, choking incidents can be fatal. If a nursing home was supposed to care for your loved one and failed to do so, you may have a legal claim against the nursing home or other parties.
Getting Legal Assistance with Your Nursing Home Abuse Claim
If you wish to hold a nursing home responsible for injuries to your loved one arising from abuse or neglect, you must prove that the nursing home workers in question were negligent in caring for your loved one. Nursing home staff have a legal duty to care for and protect nursing home residents under state and federal law. When a staff member is negligent or fails to live up to this legal duty of reasonable care, they can be liable for any resulting injuries.
A nursing home is liable for the acts of its employees under the legal theory of respondeat superior. This theory states that employers are responsible for the acts of their employees, even if they are negligent or cause harm to others. As a result, nursing homes can face liability or financial responsibility for any injuries to residents when staff members abuse or neglect them.
Legal counsel can take various steps to gather the evidence necessary to prove your case based on negligence. They can investigate the circumstances that led to the injuries, through interviewing witnesses, obtaining copies of nursing and medical records, and viewing any available surveillance videos. They also can look at the practices and policies of the nursing home in terms of screening, hiring, training, and supervising employees.
Nursing home claims can be complex, and you must file your claims by certain deadlines, or statutes of limitations. If you miss these crucial deadlines, you could lose your chance to hold the nursing home liable for injuries to your loved one. You also may become ineligible to claim any compensation for losses to your loved one and family. Enlisting the help of an attorney can help ensure that you do not miss any of these important deadlines.
For a free legal consultation with a Dallas Choking Lawyer serving Dallas, call (800) 794-0444
Call Our Team Today to Get Help with Your Claim
Your Dallas choking lawyer can help you pursue justice for your loved ones, whether they have suffered injuries or passed away from injuries while living in a nursing home. If those injuries resulted from the negligence of nursing home staff, you and your family may have a claim for various forms of compensation or damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, and more.
My Nursing Home Lawyer knows how emotionally challenging these claims can be. We also know that you may be worried about paying for legal services in light of so many unexpected expenses related to your loved one. We take these cases on contingency, which means that you pay nothing upfront for our services. Once you receive compensation, then we will collect our fees. Call (800) 842-6336 and take the first step toward getting justice for your loved one.