When you leave your elderly loved one at a nursing home, you’re taking a risk. You are counting on people you don’t know to take care of someone who means the world to you, to make sure they get all the care they need, from food and clothing to baths to important medication. When something happens due to the negligence of that facility, you have a right to be angry.
But what are the circumstances under which you can hold a facility responsible if a patient wanders away from the facility? Review the nature of liability and negligence when patients leave care facilities, and how a nursing home abuse lawyer can hold the service responsible.
Negligence and the Nursing Facility
Nursing homes have a standard of care that they are expected to uphold. What this means is not only are they expected to provide for the needs of their patients, but they are also responsible for taking any necessary precautions within reason to ensure that residents are free from harm.
When they fail to uphold this due care, they can be held as negligent. In cases where residents wander away from a nursing home, the question of negligence becomes whether they should have known to defend against the wandering.
A few specific scenarios of negligence include:
- Improperly trained staff who fail to watch patients
- Hiring incompetent or unqualified staff
- Failure to notice a tendency to wander
- Failure to provide adequate security
Were They Negligent?
This can be a tricky question. Did the nursing home have reason to expect the possibility of wandering? This is the crux of the situation. If the resident had Alzheimer’s or dementia, was senile or otherwise suffered from a condition that might cause them to wander, and the facility was aware of the condition, then they should’ve taken steps to prevent it.
Likewise, if the resident was dissatisfied and had a history of wandering, the facility should’ve worked to prevent further occurrences. If they failed to do so, they can hold liability for the wandering. Arguments can be made, however, if the facility did take precautions which the resident managed to circumvent, but this is where the attorneys come into the picture.
No Harm, No Liability
Another important factor in such cases is the idea of harm. An elderly person who simply wanders away and comes back an hour later, unharmed, may present a difficult case for negligence. These cases hinge upon some harm being done, for which you are being compensated. If there was no harm, it can be difficult to establish liability.
Hiring a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Elder abuse is a problem that is sadly far too common in our care system. When your loved one suffers harm due to the failure of nursing staff to perform their duties, it’s important to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer. Not only can attorneys help your loved one get into a better situation, they can help you collect compensation for the damages suffered.
If you’re in Tennessee and have a loved one who is a victim of elder abuse, call the attorneys at Mitch Grissim and Associates. Our firm has helped people for years to get compensated for the injuries they suffer, and we can help you as well. Give us a call today!