My elderly mom lives in an assisted living facility and is a "fall risk". My mom also has mid-level dementia. The facility usually sedates the patients, or over medicates them in to passivity for control. The sedation + Dr. meds makes my mom light headed. Full well knowing this, and that she has fallen 2x in as many months, they allowed her to ride alone, around town in their facility bus. My mom should not be on the bus, going up and down stairs is too dangerous. My mom exited the bus and fell down on the pavement, landing on her shoulder. The nurse said she scraped up her whole right side in the fall. This has devastated my mom's life's outlook simply because the shock of the fall has progressed her dementia. Is the facility liable for the negligence of care?
Let me first say I hope that your mother is feeling better. There is nothing more frustrating than entrusting your loved one to a long term care facility and finding out that loved one has been injured.
The most practical action you can take at this point is getting together with your mother's doctor, the nursing home administrator, and nursing home care planner to make sure that they are working with your mother according to her fall risk assessment.
The nursing home could potentially be liable for her current injuries. However, the damages do not seem high enough for legal action. Nursing home litigation is very complex and expensive. Typically suits against nursing homes are filed after significant injury or death. Significant injury would be a broken hip, bone, or pressure ulcer. Luckily your mother doesn't appear to have any of these. Hopefully the nursing home will start paying attention to her needs so that she doesn't end up with more significant injuries in the future.
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What you should do is urgently have a sit-down meeting with a reputable attorney specializing in elder law, either in Orange County or L.A.
Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
Best bet is to site down with a local elder law attorney to discuss it in full. Avvo has a great lawyer finder tool to locate an attorney. Good luck.
I am handling such a case now, wherein the patient fell and died as a result. I'd be curious to know which facility you're talking about.
There are numerous factors in making a decision about filing a claim or lawsuit. Truly, you should go see a lawyer about this. Your lawyer will know how to evaluate the case. He is there to help you figure it out, so there is no reason not to get some real direct information to help you in your decision.
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