When a resident in a nursing home suffers damage to their neck or back, it can put their life in jeopardy. Spinal injuries in nursing homes are often due to nursing home abuse or neglect. When your loved one is hurt at the hands of another’s careless actions, you have the right to seek compensation for your family’s losses.
These types of claims may be hard to prove. It is essential to show that the nursing home or one of its employees was negligent, leading to the injury. To find out if you may have a case, we encourage you to contact our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC. Let us get to work on your behalf.
Nursing Homes Residents Face a Higher Risk for Spinal Cord Injuries
In nursing homes, most spinal cord injuries happen when the resident falls. Seniors may be frail or more prone to falling and must be provided the proper care and support when transferring, walking, or moving around. If they are not given the support they need, that can lead to a fall with disastrous results.
A 20- or 40-year-old person may experience a few bruises and perhaps a broken bone when they trip and fall. However, someone older with weak bones and poor muscle support is likely to suffer broken bones, debilitating fractures to the spine, and painful injuries to the spinal cord.
Reasons Nursing Home Residents Suffer Spinal Cord Injuries
Some of the most common reasons these injuries occur in nursing homes include the following:
- A person trips and falls during an activity, such as walking on a wet floor or tripping over a wheelchair.
- A person falls getting out of bed because they do not have someone available to help them to do so.
- An employee drops a person as they are transporting or transferring them.
- Equipment used to help transfer a person from the bed to a wheelchair fails and causes a fall.
- Rough behavior, such as being pushed down or otherwise assaulted, leads to injuries.
- Clutter on the floor leads to tripping or slipping, causing a fall.
In most situations, seniors – especially those at risk for a fall – should have proper support next to them whenever making changing positions or locations. The burden of care relies on the nursing home and its employees. If any staff member neglects to provide sufficient care or is abusive, they could be held liable for a resulting fall and spinal cord injuries to the patient.
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A Spinal Cord Injury Can Increase the Risk of Death
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), those who suffer a spinal cord injury are two to five times more likely to suffer a premature death. This risk is even higher for nursing home residents, who are often already sick or disabled. A spinal cord injury can become a long-term health complication requiring extensive care and treatment at great cost.
Spinal cord injuries can increase the chance of other severe medical conditions, such as:
- Blood clots
- Chronic pain
- Compromised immune system
- Decrease in coordination
- Fatality from corrective surgery
- Limited mobility
- Loss of muscle tone and strength
- Numbness in the extremities
- Poor circulation
- Respiratory complications
- Urinary and bowel incontinence
In these situations, it takes a long time for a person to heal and recover. Many times, when a person suffers complications after a spinal cord injury in a nursing home, their physical and mental health begins to decline, as does their overall mental health. Returning to their former level of activity and psychological outlook could be challenging, and they may develop anxiety or depression.
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What to Do if You Believe Negligence Occurred in a Nursing Home
Why did your loved one fall? What happened to put them in this situation? You may be completely unsure of the reason, or you may know exactly what happened.
Proving negligence can be difficult without substantial evidence. Gathering that material can be overwhelming when you are unsure of how to begin. This is where professional legal help can be beneficial.
How an Attorney Can Help
Working with a spinal cord injury attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make. Nursing homes will usually close ranks and work to deny any fault or negligence. They want to protect their reputations and avoid paying a claim.
At GKBM, our attorneys work to determine what happened, why it happened, and who is to blame for it. To find out what occurred, our legal team will take numerous steps:
- Investigate all aspects of the case.
- Collect and analyze evidence such as accident reports, medical records, and victim statements.
- Interview witnesses and prepare them to testify.
- Research the caretakers and facility involved for any similar incidents in the past.
- Work with medical and other experts to present testimony as to what happened.
- Negotiate with insurance companies to determine fault and secure a fair settlement.
- Prepare the case for court if there is no satisfactory settlement offer.
- Litigate fiercely on your loved one’s behalf to secure justice.
Our goal is to give you as much information as possible so you can make wise decisions moving forward. Our team is trusted, experienced, and aggressive. We know what is on the line, and we work hard to ensure your loved one receives the care and support they need.
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What You Can Do Now to Get the Help You Need
Spinal injuries in nursing homes are frightening, and you have the right to be unsure of what happened and who is to blame. Instead of hoping for the best or going it alone, put your worries in the hands of capable, experienced legal professionals.
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we are committed to listening to your story and helping you seek justice. Our team will work with you to uncover the answers you need while fighting aggressively to protect your loved one from further concerns.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a qualified nursing home abuse attorney specializing in spinal cord injuries.