Burn Injuries in Nursing Homes
Many nursing home residents are totally dependent upon others for their care, and anyone who is confined to full-time care needs at least some assistance with his or her daily needs. When these needs are not met, a resident can be seriously injured or can even die. Those confined to nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and assisted living centers are especially prone to certain types of injuries, including burn injuries. If you have a loved one who has sustained a serious, life-threatening, or fatal burn injury in a nursing home, our Rockland County nursing home negligence lawyers can help you explore your legal options, including the possibility of filing suit against the responsible parties.
Burn injuries can happen in several ways in the nursing home environment – scalding hot water in a bath or shower, spills of excessively hot beverages or foods, and burns from smoking while unsupervised, just to name a few. These types of injuries should never happen, but, sadly, they sometimes do. Understaffing can leave personnel overworked and unable to fully meet residents’ needs; lack of training can also be a factor in burn injury cases. In such situations, the resident or his or her family may have a negligence claim against the at-fault personnel and/or the nursing home’s owners. Typically, a nursing home has “deeper pockets” (more assets against which a judgment can be executed or higher liability insurance policy limits) than do individual defendants, so it is important to consider a respondeat superior claim against the nursing home, if possible, in addition to a claim against the particular staff member whose negligence resulted in the patient’s burn injury.Nursing Home Negligence
Negligence cases require four elements, each of which must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. The first element is duty of care – what was the standard of care that the defendant owed to the plaintiff under the circumstances presented by a particular case? Secondly, was that standard of care breached? If the defendant breached the duty of care, did this breach of care result in actual damages? Next, can the plaintiff prove that the breached duty was the proximate cause (a but-for causation that takes into account issues such as the foreseeability of harm that might result from the defendant’s actions or lack of actions)? Only if all four of these elements are proven can the plaintiff recover money damages from the defendant.
Nursing home negligence cases usually require expert testimony in order to be successful. Finding an appropriate expert to review the nursing home resident’s medical records, render an opinion on issues such as the standard of care and causation, and testify in court if necessary can be time-consuming and expensive. This is one of the reasons that it is important to contact an attorney who regularly handles cases such as those involving burn injuries in nursing homes and other negligence and abuse claims if you believe that your loved one has been harmed in this kind of setting. Seeking counsel early on helps ensure that there will be adequate time to obtain the right expert and get all of the required legal paperwork submitted in compliance with the statute of limitations.Rockland County Attorneys for Nursing Home Negligence Claims
While talking about a loved one’s injury or death can be difficult, it is important that a family, whose loved one has suffered a burn injury in a nursing home environment, contact a Rockland County lawyer as soon as possible if they are considering legal action. This is because claims, not filed within the statute of limitations, are usually dismissed by the courts, even if the plaintiff would otherwise have had a strong case of liability. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., at 845-708-5900, call Valerie’s cell phone 24/7 at 845-598-8253, or contact us online. We also handle cases in New York City as well as Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam and Ulster Counties.