Choosing a nursing home can be a difficult task. According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, more than 40% of nursing home negligence cases are due to face injuries from falls, ulcers or bedsores, prompting families to seek experienced Chicago abuse attorneys.
In 2007, approximately 17 percent of nursing homes surveyed were cited for dangerous deficiencies. That number jumped to over 40 percent by 2011. As a result, lawsuits totaling more than $578 million were dispersed in 2006 alone and steadily climbed.
Sadly, injuries and deaths have not been curtailed. For many elderly people, medical conditions are unstable and a nursing home is the only option. How do you find the appropriate place for your loved one? A little time and patience and a lot of personal visitation will provide insight into how nursing homes are managed.
Choosing an Appropriate Nursing Home
Families choosing a nursing home should consider the following methods:
- It can be difficult to determine the quality of the staff but ask what kind of physician coverage the home has. Is the physician part-time or full-time? Have there been any difficulties in getting the physician to come to the home, such as issues with distance?
- Are there any unpleasant odors when you walk through the halls? That could be the likely result of patients sitting in urine for long periods of time–a clear indication that the staff are not caring for patients as soon as an accident occurs. Ask the administrator to explain the smell.
- Observe the residents you meet in the hallways, dining rooms and recreational areas. Do they seem to wander alone for long periods of time? Do they appear well cared for?
- Check state nursing home ratings. There are state deficiency reports that detail the problems investigators found at each licensed nursing home. This will provide you with a complete account of how the nursing home treats its patients.
Considering a Chicago Nursing Home Lawyer
Many nursing homes are negligent and fail to provide reasonable care to elderly patients. Determining if you are among the qualified nursing home negligence cases and confronting the various defenses can be overwhelming. In addition to proving injuries, it’s necessary to show that the nursing home acted improperly.
That an injury occurs does not automatically mean compensation will be awarded. In many cases, a nursing home lawyer will need to prove the following:
- That the elderly patient suffered an injury under the home’s control and supervision
- Also, that the patient is owed a legal duty of care and the employees failed to act properly
- That the failure to act properly was a direct cause of the injury
- That the patient’s conduct did not cause or contribute to the accident
People slip and fall over large objects and small items and slip on slippery floor surfaces all the time, but the circumstances in a nursing home are quite different from a grocery store. An experienced nursing home lawyer will use several strategies to help the family prevail.
The most important element of any case is consulting a reputable Chicago lawyer who is experienced in handling nursing home negligence cases.