Breaking Down A Nursing Home Negligence Claim
Nursing home understaffing is usually the root cause of nursing home negligence. Overworked employees are stressed-out employees who often act out in ways that harm nursing home residents. Furthermore, employees at understaffed nursing homes frequently take shortcuts or try to perform jobs they aren’t qualified to perform. These problems are widespread. Over 90 percent of the long-term care facilities in South Carolina are dangerously understaffed.
Nursing home owners do not care much about resident safety issues. They only care about their own profits. In contrast, a Columbia personal injury attorney only cares about victims. Attorneys hold greedy companies responsible when they put profits before people. This responsibility includes paying families the compensation they need and deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Kinds of Nursing Home Negligence
Falls, bedsores, and malnutrition are three of the most common kinds of nursing home negligence in South Carolina. All three kinds of negligence are directly related to understaffing.
Construction zones may be the worst fall injury hazards in the Palmetto State. As the elderly population grows, many nursing homes are almost constantly under construction. Many older people have vision issues that make it harder to see such hazards. Additionally, many older people have gait disorders, so when they stumble, they fall.
Well-staffed facilities have employees stationed near construction zones to gently redirect residents elsewhere. Residents at understaffed facilities are on their own.
Bedsores are pressure ulcers that often develop on knees, ankles, and other bony body parts. People never get bed sores as long as they turn over in bed about once every two hours. However, many residents are too ill or overmedicated to turn themselves over. So, they depend entirely on the nursing home staff for assistance. Such help often isn’t available at understaffed nursing homes, especially during holidays, weekends, and other low-census periods.
Additionally, many patient care technicians cannot tell the difference between a Stage I bedsore and a Stage III bedsore. Therefore, these less-qualified professionals may not take the proper measures.
It’s hard to believe that malnutrition is a problem at nursing homes, but it is. Our senses degrade as we age. Since older people don’t feel hungry, they often don’t eat. At understaffed facilities, there is no one to ensure that residents eat the food on their plates. Malnutrition could be a standalone injury. More frequently, malnutrition weakens bodies and contributes to bedsores or other injuries.
As mentioned, nursing home residents entirely depend on nursing home staff. So, the duty of care is very high in these situations. If a breach of the duty of care causes injury, a Columbia personal injury attorney can obtain compensation for those injuries.
Usually, the nursing home is financially responsible for damages, under the respondeat superior rule. That’s good news and bad news for victims and survivors. Respondeat superior gives victims an additional source of recovery. This doctrine also makes these claims much more complex. Generally, an out-of-state holding company owns the nursing home where the neglect occurred.
Call a Hard-Working 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. We have several office locations in South Carolina and Georgia.