When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you trust that you are placing them in the right hands and expect that the staff members of the facility will provide quality care and support. The idea of a loved one being harmed or dropped does not usually cross your mind. Unfortunately, dropped patients in St. Louis nursing homes are often harmed by those who were trusted to care for them.
Understaffed nursing homes with poorly trained staff members that lack the proper training or equipment are usually to blame for patients who are dropped. In essence, these nursing homes are negligent in their care and in the way they attempt to assist residents. Many families with loved ones in a nursing home could benefit from the assistance of a diligent nursing home abuse lawyer. If you believe that a loved one experienced neglect or was dropped due to reckless caregivers, consider consulting with a steadfast nursing home abuse lawyer.
The Problem with Dropped Patients in Nursing Homes
Residents in nursing homes are typically already frail. They may have several existing health conditions and concerns, including brittle bones that are more vulnerable to breaks.
Residents who are dropped in the course of their care at a long-term care facility can break a hip or another large bone like a leg bone or hip. Internal injuries are also typical after a fall or a drop.
A necessary hospital stay lasting weeks or even months, surgery, severe pain, decreased mobility, and possibly even premature death may all result from such an event. Additionally, a drop could make already fearful nursing home residents even more fearful and anxious for their own safety.
Nursing Home Negligence
If you believe your loved one suffered serious injuries or wrongful death as a result of being dropped in a nursing home, you may have a legal case involving negligence. Typically, to be successful in a negligence case, you generally need to provide the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the patient to act or refrain from acting in a certain way
- The defendant breached the duty and acted otherwise
- The breach caused injury to the patient
- The actions of the defendant were the proximate cause of the patient’s injury
- The patient incurred actual damages, such as pain and suffering and medical expenses, as a result of their injury
By not using the appropriate number or types of staff members or equipment required to meet the needs of the resident and keep the resident safe, negligent nursing homes in St. Louis place their residents at risk for being dropped.
Could a Resident be Blamed?
In some situations, nursing home residents may be accused of contributing to a dropping accident. A nursing home in St. Louis could claim that they refused to hold still, were combative, or did not listen to the directions of the staff attempting to help them. While a few nursing home defendants may argue that the resident was at least partially at fault for their injuries, that is usually an unsuccessful defense because in most cases the resident does not have the mental capacity to fully understand when they are putting their own safety at risk. Plus, nursing homes are supposed to be prepared for combative or uncooperative residents.
In the rare instance where residents who experience a fall are potentially be found at fault for a percentage of their damages, the law still permits them to recover from the defendant under Missouri Revised Statutes §537.765.
The limits on recovery are generally proportional to the attributed fault. For example, if the jury determines that the plaintiff is 30 percent liable for their injuries, their compensation would be reduced by 30 percent. This is a complicated area of the law, so residents and their families will want to consult with a well-versed attorney to learn how comparative fault may apply in their case.
Justice for Dropped Patients in St. Louis Long-Term Care Facilities
Dropped patients in St. Louis nursing homes may suffer from broken bones or head injuries that result in long-term health problems, require extensive therapies, surgeries, or even die prematurely as a result of the accident. If you or your loved one are suffering due to such an incident in a nursing home, legal help is available. Contact a reliable nursing abuse home abuse lawyer today.