What to Do If A Loved One Is Injured in a Nursing Home
It can be heartbreaking to find out your loved one has been injured, especially when you sought professional care for his health and welfare.
For the elderly, this professional care often comes from nursing homes which are given the responsibility of providing care and protection for their patients. If your loved one is injured through carelessness or neglect in a nursing home, you may have a situation that should be investigated.
Types of Injuries in Nursing Homes
When you entrust a nursing home to care for your loved one, you have expectations that he will be supervised and receive the care he needs. Unfortunately, this does not always occur and the patients in these facilities are the ones who suffer. Those who need 24-hour care depend on those that work in nursing homes to see that they get their nourishment, medical care, safety and personal needs met.
When a facility is understaffed or has negligent workers, these needs can be ignored, and a patient can be injured. Some of the common nursing home injuries caused by negligence include:
- Slips and fall resulting in an injury
- Infections or sepsis
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Medication errors
Nursing home injuries can be caused when a patient falls due to not having the right equipment or support from staff. They can occur when medical or general health care is not provided. Even poor bedding can lead to injuries if the patient is unable to turn over or is stuck, causing asphyxiation and even death.
Steps to Take If a Nursing Home Injury Occurs
If you are alerted that your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, or worse, notice they have been injured when you visit without anyone alerting you to the issue, there are actions you should take. While some injuries can occur that are not due to negligence, it is a red flag that someone is injured when under 24-hour care in a nursing home.
First, ask your loved one what happened. Get an account of what occurred if possible, both from him and from the staff at the facility. Depending on the health and well-being of your loved one, he may not be able to tell you what happened. If your loved one indicates that it was a true accident, talk to the facility about options for prevention in the future. However, if negligence may have been involved, continue with the following steps:
- Look for other care options. When you believe your loved one is in danger of injury or negligence at his current nursing home, you may need to find other care options. You do not want to jeopardize his health by leaving him in an unsafe environment.
- Contact a nursing home injury lawyer. When the nursing home injury to your loved one was caused by what you believe was medical negligence, you need legal assistance. Contact a nursing home injury attorney to explore your options. You and your loved one may have a valid medical malpractice claim that may be pursued to seek compensation.
Who Is at Fault for Nursing Home Injuries?
When a patient is injured due to negligence in nursing homes, it can be difficult to uncover who is at fault. Nurses and caregivers are responsible for the care and well-being of their patients, as are the physicians and facility managers. Ultimately, the nursing home is responsible for the actions of their employees – it is their responsibility to hire experienced, trained professionals and to provide adequate staff to care for the number of patients in their facility. They also need to provide the right equipment and remove safety hazards to prevent injury to their patients.
Nursing Home Injury Lawyers in Louisiana
Do you want to investigate a potential medical malpractice claim for a loved one who has been injured in a Louisiana nursing home? Contact our team at Nelson & Hammons to explore your options for receiving compensation for a nursing home injury – we offer free consultations to discuss your case at our Lafayette or Shreveport offices.