Five Kinds of Nursing Home Negligence Injuries
Nursing home negligence, unlike nursing home abuse, is an unintentional injury. No one intends to cause a fall or other incident that injures a nursing home resident. But these incidents happen, usually because of a combination of understaffing and overpopulation. Many businesses have a hard time finding quality workers, and this shortage is even worse in the nursing home industry. At the same time, the elderly population explosion has triggered a nursing home population explosion.
Quite simply, many long-term care facilities don’t have enough employees to watch all their residents. Intentional or not, an injury is an injury. A person who slips and falls on a staircase suffers the same injuries as someone who was pushed down the stairs.
Therefore, in both abuse and neglect cases, a Columbia slip and fall lawyer can obtain compensation for victims. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Nursing home neglect claims are quite complex, since in most cases, the nursing home owner, which is usually an out-of-state holding company, is financially responsible for these damages.
To accommodate more residents, and make more money, many nursing homes are almost constantly under construction. Construction areas are major hazards for elderly people. Many nursing home residents have limited mobility. So, if they trip, they usually fall.
In South Carolina, nursing homes have a duty of care to provide safe and secure environments for invited guests, like nursing home residents. Furthermore, if an owner knows about, or should know about, a cracked walkway or other fall hazard, the owner must promptly remove that hazard.
Understaffing comes into play in these accidents as well. Fully-staffed facilities post employees near fall hazards to keep residents safe. Residents at understaffed facilities are on their own.
Understaffing and under-hiring, a related issue, often cause a pressure ulcer, a condition that could be life-threatening.
Briefly, people develop bedsores if they don’t turn over in bed at least once every two or three hours. Many nursing home residents are so weak or medicated that they need help turning themselves over.
During low census periods, like holidays and weekends, many nursing home owners cut corners on patient rounds. So, by the time someone checks on a resident, that resident might already have a bedsore.
Additionally, many nursing home owners don’t hire properly-qualified professionals. For example, a patient care technician might do a nurse’s job. Underqualified workers often do not detect early stage bedsores, so treatment teams can get a head start on them.
Mobility often degrades with age, and senses often degrade as well. Since food doesn’t look, smell, or taste good, many older people don’t eat. The resulting malnutrition means that other injuries, especially trauma injuries, do not heal as quickly or as well as they should.
As we age, our minds often degrade as well. Therefore, many older people are more like small children. They get into petty disagreements over small matters. Since older people cannot control their emotions very well, these petty disagreements quickly become violent.
Well-staffed facilities have employees in common areas who quickly break up these fights before someone gets hurt. Understaffed facilities send someone to break up a fight after someone is injured. Most nursing home residents are so physically frail that a small push or shove could cause a serious injury.
Nursing homes must walk a fine line in this area. Physical isolation is the best way to keep colds and flus from spreading. But physical isolation also depresses residents. So, the cure might be worse than the disease. The duty of care requires nursing home owners to not only locate this line, but also stick to it, come what may.
Connect With a Dedicated Richland County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.