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Nursing home fall leads to broken vertebra and death

When Miami residents take their elderly relatives to a nursing home they expect those loved ones to receive the care they need and deserve. This care does not only mean that nursing home residents receive proper medication and nutrition, but also that they receive proper supervision as well. A failure in any of these areas can constitute nursing home neglect and leave a resident with serious injuries, or it can sometimes even be fatal. These incidences can happen anywhere at any time, so it is important that Miami residents are informed of these cases so they can detect when nursing home neglect has taken place.

A nursing home in Indiana is being sued after a resident fell from her wheelchair, broke a vertebra and subsequently died. Though an autopsy stated that the nursing home patient died as a result of hardening of the arteries, it also found that the neck injury was a contributing factor. The death was also ruled an accident, but the victim's daughter has rightfully filed suit.

A negligence lawsuit can be filed when any number of injuries occurs at a nursing home. Bedsores, rapid weight loss, unexplained bruising and a nursing home fall can all be signs of neglect.

To succeed on a negligence claim against a nursing home, a victim must prove that the nursing home owed the victim a duty of care, that the duty was breached by employees' conduct or lack of conduct and that the victim's injuries resulted from this breach. Nursing homes always owe their residents a duty of care, so most cases, like the one in Indiana, can turn on whether or not the nursing home's conduct or lack of action breached that duty and resulted in an injury.

Once successful on a lawsuit, a victim may obtain compensation for medical expenses and pain in suffering. In the sad instance of death, like in above case, the victim's family can also recover funeral costs. Miami nursing homes have a big responsibility: taking care of the elderly who are unable to take care of themselves. When that duty is forgotten, a lawsuit can provide these institutions with a reminder of how important it is that they live up to established standards.

Source: The Star Press, "Nursing home slow to report death," Seth Slabaugh, Oct. 22, 2012

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