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Settlement reached in nursing home neglect case

When individuals think of nursing home neglect, they often think of bed sores, malnourishment and missed medications. But neglect can extend over a broader range of behaviors by professionals who work in nursing homes. The threat of a nursing home fall, for example, poses serious risks to residents. When professionals fail to prevent these falls, severe injuries can result. The parties to one such case in New York recently reached a settlement. It serves as an illustration as to why Miami residents should pay attention to nursing home conditions.

Three years ago in New York, a nursing home resident who was frail and could not care for himself fell and broke his hip. For elderly patients, such an injury can leave them debilitated and the healing process can take a long time. In some instances, patients never recover. The victim brought suit against the nursing home, claiming that the home's employees were not properly trained in how to prevent patient falls. The parties reached a settlement of $375,000 to resolve the lawsuit.

When individuals fall victim to nursing home neglect, they are certain to face physical and emotional struggles. In addition, these victims will be responsible for the medical expenses associated with the care they receive following the accident. Fortunately, legal action can remove this financial burden from injured residents.

In order to succeed on a negligence claim, the victim need only prove that the nursing home owed the resident a duty of care, that breach of the duty occurred and that compensable injuries resulted from that breach.

A successful claim may allow the victim to obtain compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. By receiving these awards, victims can focus on the physical and emotional recovery that is most important. Additionally, a lawsuit can act as a deterrent, so as to prevent nursing home employees from acting negligently in future. It may be one of the only ways to hold these errant professionals accountable.

Source: The Post-Standard, "Onondaga County agrees to pay $375,000 to nursing home resident injured in fall," Rick Moriarty, Oct. 2, 2012

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