According to the VA National Center for Patient Safety via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, elopement occurs when somebody living in a nursing home is informed that they are not permitted to leave the premises, but does so anyway. There are several possible reasons why your loved one may elope from their nursing home or wander within its confines, but they should not be permitted to do so by those tasked with looking after them.
If your loved one has one or more instances of wandering or eloping from their nursing home, then they could be under negligent care, or worse. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation about your loved one’s safety, and how an Oklahoma City wandering and elopement lawyer may be able to assist you.
Those at Risk for Wandering and Elopement
If your loved one has shown a tendency to wander around their nursing home and elope, leaving the building despite being ordered to stay, then they may:
- Have dementia, which is a risk factor for these behaviors according to the Administration for Community Living (ACL)
- Be experiencing a state of delirium, possibly because of problems related to their medication, a recent injury affecting their brain, or the onset of a yet-to-be-diagnosed disease, per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Be in fear of one or more staffers, and could be wandering as a means of avoiding perceived harm
There could be several other explanations for why your loved one has wandered, eloped, or exhibited both behaviors. What also deserves an explanation is how your loved one was able to roam inside their nursing home or escape the facility.
Who May Be Responsible for Wandering and Elopement
If you find out that your loved one had one or more incidents of wandering or elopement in their nursing home, then you may want to consider what failures allowed them to roam about unattended. Some parties who may be responsible could include:
- Administrators who failed to flag your loved one as a wandering or elopement risk
- Individual staffers who failed to provide direct supervision of your loved one
- Staffers who failed to enforce existing systems for monitoring residents, including your loved one
- Any security personnel responsible for preventing residents from leaving the building
- Any regulators who allowed a nursing home to operate as-is despite red flags or previous transgressions
There may be other parties who failed in their duties and ultimately contributed to your loved one being able to wander or elope from their nursing home. Some more specific factors that could have put your loved one in harm’s way include:
- A lack of systems for identifying and monitoring residents who could be at risk of wandering or elopement, a group which possibly includes your loved one
- Poor accountability amongst employees, which could lead to systems being inconsistently implemented
- Lax security systems that allowed your loved one to wander about the nursing home or escape from the facility
The idea of your loved one wandering unaccompanied inside their nursing home, let alone in the world, can be frightening. Your fear may be exacerbated if your loved one has one or more signs of mental incapacitation, as may be the case with somebody prone to wandering and elopement.
You may be eligible to bring a lawsuit if you believe that your loved one’s nursing home, and possibly other parties, failed in their duty to protect your loved one from possible harm. An Oklahoma City wandering and elopement lawyer may help you begin your lawsuit as soon as possible, so call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
Consider a Lawyer to Fight for Justice for Your Loved One
If you decide that your loved one was injured or put at risk because of negligence, then you may be able to bring a lawsuit on their behalf. You have the option of employing a lawyer to help you with your lawsuit, and you may choose to because:
- You would like somebody, who practices law for a living, on your side
- You do not want to or are unable to, expend the necessary time and effort to bring a lawsuit on your own
- You want to pursue justice for your loved one while focusing on other important tasks, such as securing a safe place for your loved one to move to
You may have another motivation for hiring a lawyer, but regardless of your rationale you can expect your lawyer to:
- File your loved one’s lawsuit as soon as they can.
- Collect evidence that the nursing home, and perhaps others, failed to keep your loved one from wandering or eloping from their residence.
- Obtain testimony from any parties that witnessed negligence in relation to your loved one’s wandering or elopement.
- Consult testimony from experts regarding nursing home best practices and other matters relevant to your loved one’s case.
- Calculate the awards that your loved one may be entitled to.
- Represent your loved one in settlement negotiations or at trial.
- Defend your loved one’s rights.
A lawyer may be able to assist you in additional ways, which they may discuss with you in a free consultation. If they represent your loved one successfully, then they may collect awards for:
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Medical care for any harm your loved one sustained while wandering or eloping from their nursing home
- The cost of some or all of their time at the nursing home where the negligence occurred
- Any additional compensation that a jury awards or that comes through a settlement agreement
For a free legal consultation with an wandering and elopement lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call (800) 842-6336
Call Our Team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
An Oklahoma City wandering and elopement lawyer will aim to protect your loved one from further harm while seeking justice for any negligence that befell them. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation.
You pay nothing up front and nothing out of pocket, and we only collect a fee if we secure a settlement or judgment for your loved one.