Although your family member may have spent many years in the same assisted living home or senior care facility, it is important to keep an eye on any fall accidents that may occur. Every year, the average personal injury lawyer may receive dozens of cases from local nursing homes and must ascertain whether these falls should be prosecuted as personal injury or as wrongful death suits. While the vast majority of senior care homes take incredibly personal care of their residents, accidents may occur. In rare instances, neglect or abuse may be at the root of a long-term resident’s injuries.
Senior care homes take great care to hire staff who have a personal preference for working with elderly and frail populaces. New employees may not realize just how fragile their residents are: a slip and fall lawyer may see a case where the employee simply didn’t realize their own strength and picked up a resident in an accidentally harmful manner. There is a wide range of personal injury cases that can occur at a nursing home, and staff is thoroughly screened in advance of hire.
An accident attorney may also see accidental personal injuries in cases where residents with dementia attempted to leave the nursing home: senior care facilities maintain locked elevators, but determined residents have occasionally been known to make their way outside. Relatives may contact a slip and fall lawyer if their family member had a bad fall: housekeepers clean regularly and post signs whenever they mop, but residents may not notice the signs. Taking a bad fall can be very painful, and a slip and fall lawyer can communicate with your family member about the conditions of their accident.
Every year, more than 8 million Americans have serious falls that necessitate a hospital visit. A slip and fall lawyer should be able to work with doctors to decide which falls can successfully be tried in court. Recent reports indicate that the average amount awarded to the victim is more than $50,000. Of course, it is unfortunate that the injury occurred, but it is also important to compensate victims for their injury. In the event that a personal injury occurs to a nursing home resident, relatives should be able to talk to on-site nursing staff. Does the staff person involved with the accident have any history of abuse or neglect? If they do, was human resources aware of the liability when staff was hired? Have there been other staff reports of neglect or abuse? Were they followed up with a deeper investigation?
An accident lawyer may be able to help figure out exactly how the accident occurred and whether you should pursue a lawsuit. There are some accidents that can be chalked up to doctor or nurse error but that may still qualify as a wrongful death: there are records of nurses placing patients’ tables on their breathing tubes and of accidentally disconnecting patients’ breathing machines. Meet with a slip and fall lawyer and talk about whether a fall was accidental or part of a cycle of abuse. Is your relative non-verbal or can they describe the abuse that occurred? If your relative seems to have a sudden aversion to a staff member, ask the staff if they have been experiencing any problems with transfers or with feeding. If they seem avoidant of the topic, it may be time to confer with their supervisors or a lawyer.
Medically fragile residents must be protected at all costs: staff could have made a regrettable error, but in the event of a fatal personal injury, a wrongful death lawyer should be able to help grieving friends and family to pursue a just outcome to a case that never should have happened in the first place. Wondering if it is time to meet with a lawyer? If you are asking yourself that question, then the answer is probably a resounding “yes.”