Nursing Home Injury? Know Your Rights

Read­ing Time: 3 min­utes

Last Updat­ed on April 19, 2023 

Understanding Nursing Home Injuries

Nurs­ing home injuries are a com­mon occur­rence among elder­ly res­i­dents. Some of the com­mon types of injuries that occur in nurs­ing homes include:

  • Falls: Falls are the most com­mon type of injury that occurs in nurs­ing homes. They can be caused by slip­pery floors, poor light­ing, or lack of prop­er safe­ty equipment.
  • Bed­sores: Bed­sores, also known as pres­sure ulcers, are injuries that occur due to pro­longed pres­sure on the skin. They are caused by a lack of move­ment, which can be due to poor staffing lev­els or inad­e­quate care.
  • Med­ica­tion Errors: Med­ica­tion errors occur when a res­i­dent is giv­en the wrong med­ica­tion or the wrong dose. These errors can lead to seri­ous injuries or even death.
  • Infec­tions: Infec­tions can occur due to poor hygiene prac­tices, inad­e­quate clean­ing, or lack of prop­er infec­tion con­trol protocols.
  • Phys­i­cal or Sex­u­al Abuse: Phys­i­cal or sex­u­al abuse can occur when staff mem­bers are not prop­er­ly trained or screened.

It’s impor­tant to be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect in nurs­ing homes. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Unex­plained injuries or bruises
  • Changes in behav­ior or mood
  • Unex­plained weight loss
  • Poor hygiene or liv­ing conditions
  • Lack of prop­er med­ical care

Understanding Your Legal Rights

If you or your loved one has suf­fered an injury in a nurs­ing home, you have legal rights that you should be aware of. Some of the legal rights of nurs­ing home res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies include:

  • The right to a safe and clean liv­ing environment
  • The right to prop­er med­ical care and treatment
  • The right to be free from abuse and neglect
  • The right to be informed about their care and treatment
  • The right to file a com­plaint about their care or treatment

If you believe that your loved one has been the vic­tim of abuse or neglect, you may be able to pur­sue com­pen­sa­tion through a nurs­ing home injury claim. To file a claim, you will need to gath­er evi­dence of the injury, includ­ing med­ical records and wit­ness state­ments. You should also con­sid­er hir­ing a nurs­ing home injury lawyer to help you nav­i­gate the legal process.

Preventing Nursing Home Injuries

Pre­ven­tion is the best way to avoid nurs­ing home injuries. Nurs­ing homes should take steps to ensure that their res­i­dents are safe and well-cared for. Some of the steps that nurs­ing homes should take include:

  • Prop­er staffing lev­els: Nurs­ing homes should have enough staff mem­bers to pro­vide ade­quate care for their residents.
  • Staff train­ing: Staff mem­bers should be prop­er­ly trained to pro­vide care for elder­ly res­i­dents, includ­ing how to pre­vent falls, bed­sores, and infections.
  • Safe­ty pro­to­cols and pro­ce­dures: Nurs­ing homes should have safe­ty pro­to­cols and pro­ce­dures in place to pre­vent injuries and accidents.
  • Reg­u­lar inspec­tions: Nurs­ing homes should be inspect­ed reg­u­lar­ly to ensure that they are in com­pli­ance with safe­ty reg­u­la­tions and standards.

Fam­i­lies can also take steps to help keep their loved ones safe in nurs­ing homes. Some of these steps include:

  • Reg­u­lar vis­its: Vis­it­ing your loved one reg­u­lar­ly can help you stay informed about their care and treatment.
  • Speak­ing up: If you notice any signs of abuse or neglect, speak up and report it to the nurs­ing home admin­is­tra­tion or reg­u­la­to­ry agency.
  • Keep­ing records: Keep detailed records of your loved one’s care and treat­ment, includ­ing any injuries or inci­dents that occur.

Hiring a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

If you’re con­sid­er­ing pur­su­ing com­pen­sa­tion for a nurs­ing home injury, it’s impor­tant to hire the right lawyer. Some of the things to look for in a nurs­ing home injury lawyer include:

  • Expe­ri­ence: Look for a lawyer who has expe­ri­ence han­dling nurs­ing home injury cases.
  • Exper­tise: Choose a lawyer who has exper­tise in the spe­cif­ic area of nurs­ing home injuries.
  • Track record: Look for a lawyer who has a track record of suc­cess in nurs­ing home injury cases.
  • Com­mu­ni­ca­tion: Choose a lawyer who com­mu­ni­cates clear­ly and reg­u­lar­ly with their clients.

The process of hir­ing a nurs­ing home injury lawyer typ­i­cal­ly involves an ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion, where the lawyer will review your case and advise you on your legal options. If you decide to hire the lawyer, they will begin the process of fil­ing a nurs­ing home injury claim on your behalf.

The Importance of Documenting Nursing Home Injuries

Doc­u­ment­ing nurs­ing home injuries is essen­tial for pur­su­ing com­pen­sa­tion and hold­ing nurs­ing homes account­able. Some of the types of doc­u­men­ta­tion that are impor­tant to have include:

  • Med­ical records: Med­ical records can pro­vide evi­dence of the injury and the care that was provided.
  • Inci­dent reports: Inci­dent reports can pro­vide details about the injury and how it occurred.
  • Pho­tographs: Pho­tographs can pro­vide visu­al evi­dence of the injury, such as bruis­es or cuts.
  • Wit­ness state­ments: Wit­ness state­ments can pro­vide addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about the injury and the care that was provided.

Fam­i­lies should keep thor­ough records of their loved one’s care and treat­ment, includ­ing any injuries or inci­dents that occur. This doc­u­men­ta­tion can be invalu­able if you decide to pur­sue a nurs­ing home injury claim.