Injuries to Dementia Patients
The very nature of a nursing home is such that the residents therein require a heightened level of care. After all, if vulnerable and elderly patients could care for themselves, they would not need to reside in a facility that provides around-the-clock assistance. Some patients, however, require even more attention than the average nursing home resident. These includes patients suffering from dementia, a condition in which a person suffers from a loss of cognitive abilities such as memory, communication, and abstract thinking. Injuries to dementia patients can be devastating to the patients as well as their family members. If your loved one suffers from dementia and has been hurt due to the neglect of a nursing home, a Rockland County nursing home negligence attorney at the Law Offices of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C. can help you determine whether a claim should be pursued against the facility in which your loved one was injured.
A diagnosis of dementia means that a patient is suffering from a level of impairment that affects his or her daily living and functioning. Dementia can result from a brain injury or from diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Depending upon their stage of dementia, patients may have anywhere from a mild to a very severe cognitive decline. When a person suffering from dementia is not properly cared for in a nursing home environment, he or she can be much more susceptible to certain types of injuries, including those resulting from falls. In fact, some studies have indicated that a nursing home resident with dementia is almost twice as likely as other patients to suffer a fall. While not every fall results in injuries, many do, and some can even be life-threatening.Holding a Nursing Home Accountable for Injuries to Dementia Patients
Nursing homes which lack safety policies or fail to train their staff on appropriate techniques and practices for dementia patients can be held liable for injuries that a patient suffers as a result. The burden of proof in such a case falls on the patient (or his or her family member, if the family member files the claim). This means that admissible evidence must be submitted on the issues of duty of care, breach of care, causation, and damages. In most cases, the plaintiff’s lawyer will retain an expert witness who is qualified to render a professional opinion as to the level of care that should have been afforded the patient under the circumstances presented, whether the defendant breached the duty that was owed to the patient, the nature and extent of the patient’s injuries, and whether or not there was a causal connection (“proximate cause”) between the defendant’s breach of the standard of care and the harm for which the patient seeks compensation.
The plaintiff must prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the trier of fact must be convinced that, more likely than not, the defendant’s breach of care caused the plaintiff’s damages. If a claim is successful, the plaintiff may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.Talk to an Attorney About Your Case Involving Injuries to Dementia Patients
If you have a family member who is confined to a Rockland County nursing home and suffers from dementia, you should talk to a lawyer about any concerns you have about your loved one’s care. Dementia patients require special attention, ranging from dietary restrictions to careful supervision so that the patient doesn’t “wander off” from the home and into the community, putting himself or herself at great risk of physical harm or even death. The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., handles nursing home negligence lawsuits throughout Rockland County, including the Greater Metropolitan area from Suffolk to Ulster Counties and every county in between. If you would like to set up a free consultation about your loved one’s situation, please call us at 845-708-5900 or contact us through this website. If you prefer, you can call Valerie’s cellphone 24/7 at 845-598-8253. Our firm also handles medical malpractice, dental malpractice, wrongful death, Social Security Disability, workers’ compensation, and automobile accident cases.