Bone fractures and breaks in the elderly living in nursing homes are not inevitable. A good standard of care can often prevent them. If your loved one suffered severe bone fractures or breaks in their San Antonio nursing home, you might wonder whether their injuries happened due to neglect.
However, injuries such as fractures and bone breaks can also happen due to physical abuse. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are not rare in U.S. nursing homes. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), over one-fourth of all abuse complaints at nursing homes nationwide relate to physical abuse.
If you think nursing home abuse or neglect could have caused your loved one’s injuries, you could contact a San Antonio bone fractures and breaks lawyer to protect your legal rights and those of your family member. You could potentially hold the nursing home accountable and receive compensation.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now at (800) 842-6336 for a free case review with a team member. We take your concerns and worries about the welfare of your elderly relative seriously.
Causes of Bone Fractures and Breaks in the Elderly
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that falls in nursing homes happen frequently and sometimes result in fatalities. Up to six percent of nursing home falls lead to broken bones.
Most falls in the nursing home are preventable with prudent management and care. Reasons for residents falling and injuring themselves in the nursing home can include:
- Not enough staff to help residents move around the facilities
- Tripping hazards, such as cables or uneven flooring
- Wet floors or spillages
- Lack of mobility devices, such as walkers or wheelchairs
- Medications causing dizziness and unsteadiness
- Not monitoring residents most at risk from falls
- Dropping residents when moving or transferring them
However, not all bone breaks and fractures result from accidents or neglect by nursing home staff. Regrettably, some nursing home residents suffer physical abuse at the hands of nursing home staff, visitors, or even other residents.
Do Not Overlook Physical Abuse as a Cause
As heartbreaking as it can feel to think about your loved one subjected to physical abuse, you should consider the possibility when you discover unexplained broken bones. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) estimates that as many as five million senior citizens suffer from abuse each year. Those with cognitive impairments such as dementia are at significant risk for becoming abuse victims. According to the NCOA, injuries such as bone fractures could indicate physical abuse.
Physical abuse can include kicking, slapping, and shoving a senior with the intent to cause injury and pain. If you are unsure whether your loved one’s bone fractures and breaks resulted from physical abuse, you can look for additional signs that could point to physical violence:
- Widespread and recurrent bruising
- Cuts and burns
- Dislocations and sprains
- Changes in character, such as fear and anxiety
- Social withdrawal
- A fear of caregivers
The nursing home generally has liability when physical abuse occurs in the facility, whether by caregivers, other residents, or guests to the property.
The Nursing Home Can Prevent Falls
The nursing home has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent falls:
- Nursing home staff should identify and monitor those residents most at risk of suffering from falls.
- Staff members should provide assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers, to help residents move around the facility.
- Staff should monitor residents’ medications regularly to reduce the risk of overmedication, which can contribute to falls.
- The nursing home should also offer strength exercises to prevent muscle loss and weakness in the elderly. Stronger and more supple muscles can help seniors get around more safely.
A nursing home can take many steps to ensure residents do not suffer from unnecessary accidents and bone fractures. However, a notoriously short-staffed or mismanaged nursing home will not have the capacity to monitor residents adequately and assist them when required.
Nursing home residents have the right to receive assistance with their daily tasks. Staff should not leave residents unsupervised for long periods, especially those at higher risk of falling. If your loved one suffered from abuse or neglect that resulted in a serious injury, you have the right to recover awards for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. A San Antonio bone fractures and breaks lawyer can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
For a free legal consultation with a Bone Fractures and Breaks Lawyer serving San Antonio, call (800) 842-6336
A San Antonio Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help
When a nursing home seriously neglects your loved one’s needs and they suffer a severe injury, dangerous health condition, or wrongful death as a result, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to help. We can assist you with initiating legal action and recover the awards you deserve.
Offering a Free Initial Consultation
Do not hesitate to contact us and speak with a team member about what happened to your loved one. Our initial consultation is free, and our team works on contingency, meaning we will not bill you for attorney’s fees unless you receive a settlement or court award. We can advise you and inform you about any legal avenues available to you.
Proving Your Case
We can help you file a lawsuit against the nursing home within the two-year statute of limitations set by Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003. We will take charge of your claim and research your case, gathering the evidence necessary to prove your case. We can confer with medical providers and expert witnesses to build a comprehensive case against the nursing home and other potential negligent parties.
Negotiating a Settlement
Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits do not necessarily go to trial. Our team can negotiate an out-of-court settlement, provided all parties can agree on terms that fully address your loved one’s injuries and losses. The nursing home’s lawyer’s primary concern is to protect the facility’s interests, not yours. We will protect your right to compensation when negotiating with the defendants and their insurance companies.
Fighting for You in Court
If your claim does go to trial, a San Antonio bone fractures and breaks lawyer can represent you and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for a free initial case review with a team member.