When a loved one cannot live safely on their own any longer, whether as a result of incapacitation from an injury or illness or age-related cognitive or physical decline, you may need to enlist professional care. Professional caregivers can assist with daily living activities, such as personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning. Skilled nurses can also assist with medical supervision and medication administration. While some people can stay in place with an in-home caregiver, others, particularly those with significant disabilities, must relocate to a nursing home for more advanced, around-the-clock care.
Nursing homes should provide a secure, supportive environment where residents’ well-being is a priority. In a quality nursing home with properly trained staff, patients are significantly less likely to experience injuries, such as slips and falls, ulcers, malnutrition, or infection, than they would be living independently. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are created equal.
Nursing homes have a responsibility, also known as a duty of care, to their patients. But some fail to uphold this responsibility, putting patients’ well-being, and sometimes their lives, at risk.
If your loved one has suffered from a nursing home accident in Louisiana, a lawyer may be able to support you. While the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm knows nothing is more valuable than your loved one’s health and well-being, they can assist you in pursuing monetary compensation on their behalf to help offset the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, emotional anguish, and relocation to a more suitable nursing home.
Call the office at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation with a staff member to determine the qualities of your case.
Causes of Nursing Home Accidents
Subpar nursing homes and eldercare are prevalent issues nationwide. However, they are particularly pronounced in Louisiana, a state that has repeatedly ranked among the worst three states for average nursing home quality.
Many nursing homes remain understaffed, overcrowded, and inadequately equipped to address residents’ needs, according to Health Service Insights. Sometimes, accidents are an unfortunate and unpreventable occurrence. However, most nursing home accidents are entirely preventable. In the latter case, accidents are typically a result of abuse or neglect. In these situations, the responsible party or parties must answer for their wrongdoing.
Some of the causes of nursing home accidents include:
● Slips and falls
● Medication errors, including wrong dose, wrong medication, or improper administration or preparation
● Inadequate monitoring
● Not reporting changes to a patient’s condition to a doctor
● Improper documentation of a patient’s condition
● Procedural errors
● Not moving a patient when necessary to prevent bedsores and other issues
Types of Nursing Home Injuries
Nursing home accidents can vary widely, from falls to improper medication administration or physical abuse. Likewise, the type and severity of injuries can range in scope and severity, from bruises to broken bones and sepsis to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
The most common types of nursing home injuries include:
● Bedsores, pressure ulcers, and decubitus ulcers
● Malnutrition or dehydration
● Bed rail injuries
● Spinal injuries
● Broken bones
● Adverse effects resulting from improper medication administration
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2% and 28% of nursing home residents suffer from bedsores. The CDC also reports falls, which are the main cause of injury in seniors in the U.S., account for about 95% of hip fractures in seniors.
Falls can also cause TBIs, which may result in permanent brain damage. Furthermore, the CDC reports about 400,000 nursing home residents die from infections every year.
If your loved one has suspicious or recurring injuries, symptoms not characteristic of their medical condition, or unexpected personality changes, it may indicate abuse or neglect. While nursing home staff, including administrators, nurses, doctors, and social services professionals, are legally obligated to report abuse, many do not do so for fear of repercussions, such as losing their job.
Likewise, patients themselves often do not report abuse or neglect. Tragically, some patients suffer in silence, unable to stand up for themselves due to cognitive difficulties, fear of their abuser, isolation, or shame.
It is vital for family members to know the signs and go to bat for their relatives when something is awry. Doing so is not always easy. Seeking justice and financial compensation for nursing home accidents can involve a complex process.
The plaintiff must prove the accident resulted from negligence or abuse and prove who was responsible for the wrongdoing. This may be a caregiver, doctor, or the nursing home administration. An attorney can help you build a case and devise a strategy to pursue just compensation for your family’s suffering.
Get in Touch with an Attorney Today
Nursing home residents are often extremely vulnerable. Family members should be able to trust nursing home staff to look after their loved ones with respect and compassion, providing them with the necessary care and medical services to maintain health and quality of life.
Unfortunately, when a facility fails to prioritize its patients or staff act negligently or maliciously, tragedy can ensue. Injuries from nursing home accidents can be significant, some even permanently debilitating or fatal. On top of the physical and emotional toll of such incidents, your family may be burdened with medical bills and the cost of relocating to a new care facility better-equipped to meet your loved one’s needs.
If a family member has been a victim of a Louisiana nursing home accident, a lawyer can support you in pursuing justice. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is dedicated to helping families seek compensation for their losses. Call the office at (800) 842-6336.