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Nursing home injuries happen much more often than you may think, and broken hips are just the beginning of it. A nursing home injury is when the resident of a nursing home suffers nearly any kind of physical harm. Seniors in these facilities already need special care for their existing conditions, so new injuries are particularly threatening to their long-term health. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at a care center, consider speaking with a nursing home injury lawyer about how you can receive money for your losses.
Injuries encompass all forms of harm or illness. Here are some of the most common types of nursing home injuries:
Falls are the most common way that seniors are injured. Falling out of bed, down the stairs, or on uneven surfaces can easily cause broken bones or head trauma. Slip and fall injuries are also very common.
The spinal cord plays an important role in the body’s ability to move. Damage to the spinal cord can thus lead to paralysis, breathing issues, and incontinence.
Bedsores are a skin condition that results from staying in the same position in bed for too long. They begin as dry or irritated skin but can evolve into blisters, open cuts, and discoloration.
A concussion is when an impact to the head causes the brain to be temporarily jolted out of its normal position. Symptoms of a concussion include confusion, memory loss, ringing in the ears, fatigue, and amnesia. For seniors, this injury is most likely to happen from a fall. Concussions, head, and brain injuries are very common in nursing homes.
Bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza, skin infections, and respiratory infections are prone to passing through nursing homes.
Negligence occurs when a senior’s caretaker fails to adequately take care of them. This could be forgetting to give them their medication, ignoring signs of illness, or carelessly letting them wander, among other neglectful behaviors. Abuse is when a caretaker intentionally harms their client. Physical assault, sexual assault, financial abuse, and emotional abuse all constitute nursing home abuse. If you aren’t sure how the law would interpret your injury, a nursing home injury lawyer can provide answers. You may need to contact an intentional tort lawyer if you or a loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home.
Each year, thousands of seniors claim to have suffered abuse in their care facility. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. A nursing home injury lawyer deals with cases that involve physical harm, namely physical abuse, sexual abuse, and negligence.
Nursing home abuse can be a single event or a series of abusive behaviors. Your attorney will examine anything that may have caused or worsened the injury. It’s important that if you witness or experience a form of nursing home abuse, you reach out to authorities as soon as possible. You’re encouraged to call the police, your state’s ombudsman, or the Adult Abuse Hotline. You can quickly find emergency phone numbers online.
These nursing home injury statistics show how big the problem is:
Are you unsure whether your injury counts as abuse, negligence, or something else? Abuse and negligence often overlap, and both can go to court. Don’t disregard it just because you don’t know. The following examples should help clarify abuse, negligence, and generally what kinds of injuries end up in court.
Medical negligence, similar to medical malpractice, is when a medical professional ignores the standard of care that they’re expected to follow in their position. It could be a doctor lying about their patient’s diagnosis, a surgeon performing unnecessary surgeries, or a radiologist ignoring lab results, for example. Medical negligence can also take place in a nursing home. If you think medical negligence is taking place in a nursing home, you may want to ask a nursing home injury lawyer the best way to intervene.
Bedsores make up a significant portion of nursing home negligence cases. They are highly preventable which means the plaintiff or the victim’s family immediately looks to the staff for an explanation. In some cases, a nursing home will actively try to hide the presence of bedsores in their facility. Situations like this are especially damaging for those who are in charge.
If you or someone you know lives in a nursing home and is beginning to suffer from a skin condition, it could be the start of bedsores. Immediately ask the staff about it. Their answer is crucial in preventing further illness and for evidence in a potential lawsuit.
The main purpose of a nursing home is to take care of individuals who can no longer care for themselves. Employees, therefore, have many responsibilities with their clients. Some responsibilities include hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, and medical care. But whose fault is it when something goes wrong?
Liability depends on the circumstances. If evidence shows the injury to be the result of, say, the carelessness of a staff member, then a case against the nursing home might be viable. The nursing home may also be liable if they failed to uphold certain responsibilities and it led to an injury.
Sometimes a nursing home injury is neither the victim nor the nursing home’s fault. For example, if a senior takes a pill that ultimately harms them, it could be the maker of the pill who’s liable rather than the nursing home. The same applies to faulty medical equipment such as a walker or IV bag. It’s best to consult a nursing home injury lawyer about who is liable for your injury.
You can begin by calling a nursing home abuse lawyer and telling them what happened. They’ll figure out if a nursing home abuse lawsuit is the right option for you. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is an important step in the process of filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
After hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer, your lawyer will begin to gather evidence for your case. Names, photos, videos, and receipts are all helpful pieces of evidence that you may be able to acquire, but if not, your nursing home abuse lawyer will handle it.
Your nursing home abuse lawyer will then exam the facts and evidence to determine liability for you or your loved one’s injuries. The total cost of these injuries is the plaintiff will demand both compensatory damages and punitive damages.
You, as the plaintiff, will seek compensation from the liable party to cover these damages.
Your nursing home abuse lawyer will stress this, but it is important to mitigate injury by seeking medical treatment right away and following your doctor’s orders. This is an important part of building a strong nursing home abuse lawsuit argument.
Your state’s statute of limitations bars from taking legal action after a specific amount of time has passed, so do not hesitate to seek legal aid from a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.
The timeline of a nursing home lawsuit is variable, but you can generally expect them to take at least 18 months to complete. The exact length will depend on the discretion of the court, the strength of the case, and whether it’s criminal or civil. It’s always ideal to begin the civil lawsuit process as soon as possible. Every state has a statute of limitations, and it’s easier to gather evidence when the abuse is still recent. Your nursing home injury lawyer will guide you through each phase of the lawsuit.
The nursing home abuse lawyer team at TorHoerman Law are experts at elder injury cases. We know the difficulty of confronting the perpetrators while trying to recover from trauma. If you’ve suffered in any of the ways described, consider giving us a call at 1-888-508-6752. We’ll point you in the most appropriate direction so you and your loved ones can come back from the injuries. You can also call the Adult Abuse Hotline at (800) 222-8000.
At TorHoerman Law, we offer contingency fee options for all nursing home abuse lawsuit clients. We also offer free no-obligation case consultations for all potential clients. So, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at TorHoerman Law today to discuss your options, free of charge and no obligation required.
Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Abuse of Residents of Long Term Care Facilities (Research Brief).” NCEA, National Center on Elder Abuse, 2012, ncea.acl.gov/NCEA/media/docs/Abuse-of-Residents-of-Long-Term-Care-Facilities-(2012)_1.pdf.
Smith, Benjamin H. “6 Horrific Cases Of Nursing Home Abuse.” Oxygen Official Site, Oxygen Media LLC, 17 June 2019, www.oxygen.com/license-to-kill/crime-time/horrific-cases-nursing-home-abuse.
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