How To React To Accidents In Nursing Homes

How To React To Accidents In Nursing Homes

Most right-minded people consider a nursing home a safe and secure place where they can leave their loved ones, safe in the knowledge they are well looked after. Although this is true in the vast majority of cases, you’d be shocked at how common accidents can be. And when they occur, they can be particularly devastating since those who occupy nursing homes tend to be older and more frail than the average person. What, then, should you do if you or a loved one find themselves in the tragic circumstances of an accident? This is a more challenging question to answer than it might seem initially since you will likely have never gone through a similar situation in your life and won’t know where to begin. Fortunately, this post will cover the most vital steps to take that should not only help you to come out the other side with the compassion you deserve but also enable you to hold to account those who may have been responsible and ensure it doesn’t happen again to anyone else.

Stay Calm And Assess The Situation

It’s easy to jump to conclusions when you first hear that your loved one has been involved in an accident, but the last thing you want to do is jump to conclusions. Being rash can cause all kinds of issues and potentially cause more stress and anxiety than necessary for the injured party. Nonetheless, this is easier said than done, and when they suffer from a fall or from elder abuse in a nursing home that you put your trust in, it can be all too easy to begin threatening legal action and more. Instead, opt for a more rational and calm demeanor. Not only is this more conducive for finding out what happened, but it can also avoid issues where the nursing home goes into lockdown and rebuffs any attempts at finding out what happened. Moreover, you or your lawyer will need access to the home in order to interview witnesses and staff members. By taking a pragmatic approach, those involved will be more willing to discuss events.

Call For Medical Attention Immediately If Required

Regardless of the severity of the fall, you or the home should contact emergency services immediately. This is vital for two particular reasons:

  1. You can never be sure if there are internal wounds that are not visible to the naked eye.
  2. If you choose to take legal action, you will need a medical report to present to a court.

Regarding the first point, just because you might not see an injury doesn’t mean they aren’t wounded. They could have fallen onto a walking stick which caused internal bleeding, or there could be hairline fractures that don’t cause pain but might aggravate the surrounding muscles due to bone splinters, etc. 

Concerning the second point, if the injury is severe enough, you will probably need to seek legal advice, who can advise you on whether you have a case, what to expect, and what you will need to get started. Without an official medical report, it will be harder for you to demonstrate that the injuries occurred on that day specifically rather than another. It will also be easier for the judge to determine how much compensation to award you. 

Document The Incident As Accurately As Possible

As with a medical report, you must document the accident as thoroughly as possible. If you have hired a lawyer, they might perform this duty on your behalf or alongside you to help you get all pertinent information that could help build a case. You might also discover that several other residents were victims of abuse or negligence, in which case your lawyer might even suggest beginning class action against the company operating the home.  

Request A Detailed Incident Report

It’s essential to ask for an incident report which is a document that provides the full story of what happened and how staff responded. It should include details such as when and where the injury occurred, who witnessed it, all steps taken during treatment time, and any possible mistakes made by team members or delays that might have been experienced. Additionally, ensure there’s information about injuries sustained and treatments received, as well as if family or doctors were informed. Carefully review this report for incomplete information or vague descriptions, and don’t be afraid to send back questions requesting more specifics if something doesn’t add up. Having an accurate incident report allows you to piece together exactly what happened so you can determine whether appropriate action was taken by staff regarding your loved one’s care during this situation. 

Contact Legal Representation As Soon As Possible

Even if the nursing home has complied with all your requests and is willing to offer compensation, hiring someone to advocate for your interests is prudent. An attorney specializing in this area of law will have a better understanding of both the legal side of things and experience dealing with nursing home operators. This mix will ensure the injured party gets everything they deserve to cover expenses and possibly even mental anguish. As mentioned earlier, they might also uncover a darker side to the story whereby many residents have suffered accidents or been abused somehow. This could result in a more significant case, leading to more prominent awards and hopefully no further suffering for others.

Maintain Communication With The Nursing Home

Staying in contact with the nursing home after your loved one has had an accident is of utmost importance. It’s essential to get real-time updates on their condition and recovery, including any medical attention or physical therapy they are receiving. You should also ensure that all questions and concerns are addressed comprehensively and as soon as possible. Lastly, details about the incident are still likely surfacing which warrants follow-up conversations if necessary. Ultimately we want everyone involved working together towards providing your loved one with quality care.

Finding out that a loved one has had an accident is a harrowing call to have to receive, regardless of severity. You will have a million questions swirling around your head and probably be unsure how to proceed. Nonetheless, when armed with the information here and a lawyer by your side, you will find a clear path through the trees and come out the other side with the compensation you are entitled to.


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