Elder Law/Nursing Home Litigation
As the United States population is aging, senior citizens and their families often have to face the decision of whether to move into nursing homes or long-term care facilities to assist with care and to be protected from the overall effects of deteriorating physical and/or mental conditions. Unfortunately, these vulnerable patients are sometimes at the mercy of overworked – and in some cases, uncaring – individuals that physically and/or psychologically cause harm to the very people that need care the most. Based on information available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center on Elder Abuse, instances of nursing home abuse, caretaker abuse, health care provider neglect, and elder exploitation continue to rise.
The most common manifestations of nursing home mistreatment and elder abuse are:
- Falls (often resulting in serious injury)
- Physical abuse
- "Walkaways" (residents wandering off premises due to lack of proper care or supervision)
- Medication errors
In institutional or nursing home settings many factors contribute to elder abuse, including poorly qualified and/or inadequately trained staff, hiring staff with a criminal history of violence, inadequate/overworked staff, isolation of residents and patients, and, unfortunately the known problem of a reluctance of residents to report abuse because of embarrassment or fear of reprisal.
Personal injury claims involving nursing homes have unique challenges that require an experienced attorney. One of the most difficult issues to overcome is the tendency on the part of others, including insurance adjusters and even physicians, to discount an elderly person's injuries and the diminished quality of life that can result. Also, due to the advanced age of most of these patients, attorneys representing nursing homes and the insurance companies that owe compensation frequently allege the fragile health of the patient in the first place as an excuse for the condition existing after the harm! IT takes an attorney experienced in medical matters, and a team of experts that can refute these frivolous defenses in order successfully handle these cases.
There are simple truths, however. Nursing homes owe a duty of care to their residents. When that duty is violated, they are liable for compensation to the resident for the injuries and losses they have sustained. At Rush & Gransee, L.C., we have the experience and network of resources to establish when a breach of the legal duty of care has occurred, and prove that this breach of duty was the legal cause of harm to our client. We have represented many clients and their families in matters involving neglect and abuse of the elderly in nursing home settings, helping them to achieve compensation for their injuries and hopefully, restoring their dignity.