Nursing home facilities are often understaffed, and the staff who are present are overworked, exhausted, and stressed. When these factors combine, care standards can move downhill. Wandering and elopement is when a resident of a nursing home moves freely around the facility without supervision or leaves the facility altogether. This is a common behavior in people with dementia, and it can be very dangerous. Some incidents even end in death.
If a patient walks the facility without any supervision, they can seriously injure themselves. A patient could fall in an area that is not meant for them, and staff may not find them for a long period of time. They may also walk outside of the building with no way to get back inside or leave the facility without a grasp of how to get where they want to go.
If your family member suffered injuries while in the care of a nursing home, and you think they did so while wandering, discuss your case with our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A Dallas wandering and elopement lawyer can guide you through the steps to file a lawsuit and get compensation for your losses. Call us at (800) 842-6336.
You Can Seek Compensation
A patient who walks unattended through their nursing home, or outside of it, can be seriously injured. A resident could die or never return back to the nursing home after such an incident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or another dementia. These patients need attention and care to be sure they are not a harm to themselves or others.
If your family member wandered or eloped from their nursing home and suffered an injury, you could get compensation. Your awards could cover costs such as medical bills, relocation costs to move your family member to a new facility, and pain and suffering. If your loved one died as a result of injuries from wandering or elopement, you could also seek damages for things like burial and funeral costs and loss of companionship.
You have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003. If your case involves medical malpractice, you also have two years, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.251. Talk with a Dallas wandering and elopement lawyer on our team to learn how the statutes of limitations apply to your case.
Wandering and Elopement Can Cause Injuries
When staff members neglect a patient, that patient may become disoriented and leave their room. If staff members allow vulnerable patients to walk the property of the nursing home alone, they could end up in areas that are not meant for them. Worse yet, if they leave the property, they could get far from home before staff realizes they are gone.
Another risk to nursing home residents is abusive behavior from other nursing home residents. Of course, it is not the fault of a patient with dementia or other impairments if they harm another resident. It is the responsibility of the staff at the nursing home to not allow residents to wander and interact with potentially dangerous residents.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), 22% of abuse cases are resident-to-resident cases. This means that simply walking into another person’s room could put your loved one at risk. It is vitally important that staff members stay aware of resident activities.
According to the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, wandering and elopement are common among patients with dementias. These episodes can include both wandering with no destination in mind, or eloping from the facility with a goal. The patient may think they are going back home or somewhere else when they leave their nursing home.
These incidents can occur because staff is failing to check on patients regularly and consistently, or because precautions put in place to keep patients from wandering and eloping have failed. The risks are numerous but include falling injuries, becoming lost, and exposure.
For a free legal consultation with a Dallas Wandering and Elopement Lawyer serving Dallas, call (800) 794-0444
Abuse and Neglect Are Common
Wandering and elopement are just two results of potential abuse and neglect at a nursing home. There are many kinds of abuse, and they can be happening at the same time. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, willful neglect, and sexual abuse are some types.
It is important to be aware of the signs of neglect and abuse, as it may be hard to know when it is happening. Some of the signs include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Unanswered questions from staff
- Withdrawal or other emotional changes from your family member
- Unsanitary conditions
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Refusing care from a certain staff member
You have a right and responsibility to investigate and report any suspicious behavior quickly. Your family member should not suffer because of staffing issues or other problems at the nursing home.
If you suspect that your family member suffered injuries while wandering at their nursing home, give us a call. We can discuss the details of your case with you and tell you how best to proceed. Our team wants to help you and your family get what you deserve.
Dallas Dallas Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
Act today to start your lawsuit against the nursing home that allowed your family member to wander or elope. Do not let the statute of limitations run out, or your case could get dismissed. You have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit. You may recover awards for things like medical bills, burial costs, and relocation costs for your loved one.
Get the process started by giving us a call at (800) 842-6336. A Dallas wandering and elopement lawyer is ready to begin work on your case. We know Texas law. You can tell us the details of your case during your free consultation. We do not get paid unless we win, so do not delay.