We trust nursing homes to take good care of the people we love. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always deliver the high-quality care that they promise. Serious violations regularly occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
A Philadelphia nursing home lawyer can help if you suspect that a loved one is being neglected or abused at a nursing home. By speaking up, you could save your loved one from serious harm or death. Financial compensation may be available for the victim’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical bills, and other losses.
Don’t wait to speak with a Philadelphia nursing home lawyer about your rights. The Philadelphia nursing home neglect attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm LLC offer a free and confidential legal consultation. Call us at (215) 666-7777 today.
Nursing Home Injury Lawsuits
Nursing homes have a duty to keep residents safe from avoidable harm. Sadly, this does not always happen. A nursing home injury lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm can fight for the rights of the elderly residents. Trust a Philadelphia nursing home lawyer with experience investigating nursing home injury claims. We handle personal injury and wrongful death cases involving:
- Bedsores (Pressure Ulcers)
- Broken Bones and Hip Fractures
- Financial Exploitation of Residents
- Improper Wound Care
- Medication and Dosage Errors
- Nursing Home Falls
- Sexual Abuse of Residents
- Wandering and Elopement
- Wrongful Death
Nursing Home Fall Injury Lawyers
The most common, avoidable nursing home injuries occur when residents fall at the facility. Nursing home falls are usually preventable with proper care. A personal injury lawyer can help if your loved one fell and was injured at a nursing home. Some common causes of avoidable falls include:
- Nursing Home Slip and Fall – Slip and fall accidents often occur because elderly individuals are susceptible to slipping on wet or cluttered floors. Injuries can happen if spills are not promptly cleaned, if residents are not assisted while bathing or showering, or if mats are not placed by entrances during bad weather.
- Nursing Home Trip and Fall – Similar to accidental slips, these accidents frequently occur due to debris, hazards, or obstacles on the floor, ramps, or stairs. To protect residents, nursing homes should monitor seniors and install fall protection devices as necessary.
- Nursing Home Falls from Chairs or Beds – Nursing home residents who suffer from insomnia, incontinence, cognitive impairments, or chronic pain may frequently get up and wander about the facility. However, many elderly residents are designated “high fall risks” and cannot move around safely without assistance. It is the responsibility of nursing home staff to carefully assess each resident’s fall risk and, wherever necessary, create a comprehensive plan to protect them from falling. Despite this responsibility, it is not unusual for elderly persons to be injured by falling from a mattress or chair.
- Negligent Supervision – Nursing home residents often need assistance when walking to and from restrooms, dining areas, and throughout the facility. Understaffing often results in disaster when residents are left to fend for themselves.
The nursing home lawyer Philadelphia will fight to hold facilities accountable for preventable injuries. If a resident is harmed by an avoidable fall, the facility may be held liable for the damages caused.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Preventable injuries like bedsores and infections are common at nursing homes. To help protect your family members, be on the lookout for warning signs of neglect and abuse in nursing homes. Serious injuries and health issues may result from neglect. A nursing home injury lawyer can help you get compensation for these painful injuries.
Nursing Home Hip Fractures
While anyone can break a bone, seniors are at elevated risk due to decreased bone density, poor balance, and other effects of aging. Nursing home bone fractures can result from a number of causes that give rise to injury liability, including:
- Accidental Falls
- Object Strikes
- Physical Abuse
Pelvic fractures (hip fractures) are especially common. According to CDC data, more than 95% of hip fractures among adults aged 65 and older are caused by falling. The CDC also reports that roughly one in five falls among seniors will cause a bone fracture or other serious injury, such as a traumatic brain injury.
All bone fractures are cause for concern, but a broken hip in a nursing home can place an elderly person’s health in extreme jeopardy. The following quote is excerpted from a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation:
“Hip fractures are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, loss of independence, and financial burden. In usual care, the reported one-year mortality after sustaining a hip fracture has been estimated to be 14% to 58%.” If your family member suffers a hip fracture at a nursing home you should consult a Philadelphia nursing home lawyer immediately.
Nursing Home Bedsores (Pressure Ulcers)
Nursing home bedsore attorney know how horrifying these pressure wounds can be. It’s important for concerned family members to understand that bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are not a natural product of aging. On the contrary, they are usually preventable if proper care is taken by the nursing home. The development of bedsores often indicate nursing home negligence.
Bedsores can be caused when nursing staff fail to regularly reposition a resident who is bed-bound. Repositioning is necessary to alleviate pressure and encourage a healthy flow of oxygen throughout the body.
Bedsore can develop in a matter of months or even weeks. They are typically located on bony areas of the body, such as the wrists and ankles, but can also develop on the back, buttocks, neck, legs, heels, or any other part of the body that is in constant contact with the mattress beneath.
If a bedsore is not treated in its early stages, it can result in bone infections, joint infections, and skin infections called cellulitis, all of which can lead to complications of their own. In extreme cases, a pressure ulcer can even cause sepsis, a rapidly progressing, life-threatening condition which can cause organ failure.
A nursing home bedsore attorney can help if your loved one has developed a painful bedsore or pressure sore at a nursing home.
Over-medicating Nursing Home Residents and Dosage Errors
Most seniors who reside in nursing homes depend on at least one prescription medication. However, while prescription drugs are vital to managing serious health conditions like heart disease and arthritis, medication can cause more harm than it prevents when administered in excessive doses, or dangerously mixed with other medications.
Sadly, it is not unheard of for nursing home staff members to overmedicate residents or administer unnecessary sedation just for the sake of convenience. In other cases, medication errors result from careless acts of negligence, like sloppy, incomplete record-keeping, or inattention to residents’ medical records. Either way, overmedicating residents is a violation of resident rights.
A Philadelphia nursing home lawyer can help determine if your loved one was overmedicated. Overmedicating residents in nursing homes may be grounds for a claim or lawsuit if used to sedate restless residents, or if it causes serious injury or death. Some medications can have debilitating side effects when taken not as directed, including:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Failure to Thrive
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is, sadly, another common form of abuse in senior care settings. Since feelings of shame and fear keep many seniors from speaking out about victimization, it’s crucial to be as vigilant and supportive as possible, so that your loved one feels safe about opening up and getting help.
Call a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer if you suspect a loved one has been sexually abused. If your loved one is suffering sexual abuse in a nursing home, he or she may seem unusually agitated, fearful, apathetic, or depressed. Other red flags include soiled or torn undergarments and bruising around the thighs, lower stomach, buttocks, and/or genital area.
Improper Care for Diabetes and Infections
Even for a young person in peak health, an infection is a serious problem that usually requires an aggressive course of treatment with powerful antibiotics. Because elderly people often have compromised immune systems, aggressive management of infections and illnesses is even more critical.
A Philadelphia nursing home lawyer can help you determine if infection was caused by neglect or malpractice. Diabetes patients are at an increased risk of developing infections and infectious diseases, especially foot infections. If diabetes is poorly managed because of neglect or malpractice, an otherwise avoidable foot amputation or leg amputation may become necessary.
Dehydration and Malnourishment in Nursing Homes
Severe, prolonged undernourishment or malnutrition can have devastating health consequences, especially when the victim is already suffering from an underlying medical issue, as is true of many nursing home residents.
State laws create mandatory nutritional standards for nursing homes and other elder care facilities. A nursing home attorney can help you determine if there are grounds for a lawsuit for malnutrition that causes illness or death.
Like malnutrition, dehydration can also have serious negative effects. When a person is severely dehydrated, he or she might experience delirium, low blood pressure, fever or unconsciousness.
Nursing Home Under-staffing
Under-staffing and neglect are often to blame for these problems. Many residents need physical assistance holding glasses, cutting up food, and feeding themselves. In other cases, seniors with cognitive disorders require encouragement and help. If individualized attention is not provided to at-risk residents at mealtime, malnutrition and dehydration are almost sure to follow.
Adequate staffing is vital to resident safety. When facilities do not hire enough staff members, there are more opportunities for neglected residents to wander around and get hurt inside the facility, or even wander off the premises completely. A Philadelphia nursing home lawyer can hold the nursing home accountable if it understaffs a faculty to increase profit.
If a resident is suffering from a cognitive impairment such as dementia, he or she is at very high risk of being assaulted, mugged, hit by a car, or succumbing to hypothermia or hyperthermia after becoming lost. Even if a resident doesn’t leave the premises, lack of supervision can still result in serious harm or wrongful death.
Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyer in PA
A wrongful death is a preventable death which occurs because a business or individual doesn’t take the normal, appropriate precautions that would be expected considering the circumstances. For example, if a nursing home resident is killed in a fatal slip and fall accident, the death could be considered wrongful if the slip and fall was caused by a preventable issue like substandard property maintenance, or lack of supervision of residents.
Not everyone has the legal authority to bring an action on behalf of a wrongful death victim. The plaintiff usually must be a beneficiary or representative of the decedent’s estate. An attorney can help you determine who has the legal capacity bring a wrongful death claim and set up an estate. If a claim for wrongful death is successful, any compensation awarded will either be distributed according to the decedent’s will or among relatives as determined under the state’s intestacy law.
Nursing Home Malpractice Claims
Nursing home malpractice is “medical malpractice” that occurs at a long-term care facility. A nursing home malpractice claim arises when a medical professional breaches the standard of care causing harm to a resident.
The Philadelphia nursing home lawyers at Wieand Law Firm have years of experience litigating these complex matters. Nursing home malpractice claims often hinge on a careful analysis of the resident’s chart, independent investigation, and expert testimony from medical professionals. Our nursing home malpractice attorneys understand the complexities that arise in these cases and coordinate with medical experts to see that malpractice claims are investigated thoroughly.
Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer- Wieand Law Firm
Call a Philadelphia nursing home lawyer dedicated to representing victims of nursing home neglect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our Philadelphia nursing home lawyers understand how devastating nursing home injuries can be, and take pride in providing strong legal representation to our clients.
For a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation, call the Wieand Law Firm at (215) 666-7777. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing up-front and won’t be charged unless we recover money for you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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