Nursing Home Care – Here to Stay
Nursing home lawsuits in the Philadelphia area including the suburbs (Montgomery County, Delaware County and Bucks County) have been increasing over the last two decades. This is due in large part to the increasing numbers of elderly citizens living in nursing homes. These numbers are increasing because the number of elderly citizens in the U.S. population is also increasing.
The 2010 U.S. Census counted over 40 million people age 65 and older (roughly 13% of the entire U.S. population). By 2050, it’s projected that the percentage of the older population will rise to about 20% of the total population. In addition, the number of people in the 85 and up bracket is increasing. In 2010, there were almost 6 million people aged 85 and up; by 2050, that number is expected to rise to 19 million. With these projections, one thing is clear – nursing home care is here to stay.
Common Types of Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuits
Nursing home negligence is an unfortunate reality. This doesn’t mean that abuse and neglect occurs in every nursing home. It simply means that elderly individuals living in nursing homes are at risk of being abused and neglected. In addition, the vast majority of nursing home abuse and neglect cases go unreported. According to a 2003 study by the National Research Council, a mere 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities. See Elder mistreatment: Abuse, neglect and exploitation in an aging America, The National Academies Press.
Nursing home abuse and neglect comes in many forms, but the most common types include:
- physical/mental abuse and neglect,
- financial abuse and neglect, and
- medical abuse and neglect.
Abuse and neglect aren’t just intentional acts; they include things like failing to provide proper maintenance of the facilities and premises and failing to train nursing home employees properly. In addition, nursing home residents are prone to accidents like fall accidents or wandering. Nursing home residents often suffer serious injuries from every day accidents like a slip and fall or trip and fall. It’s not uncommon for an elderly nursing home resident to suffer fatal injuries after falling out of a bed or wheelchair. Wandering incidents often lead to deaths. There have been multiple documented cases of nursing home residents wandering away from their rooms and dying due to exposure or getting hit by cars.
Legal Rights of Injured Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home residents, and in cases of death, family members of deceased residents, often have legal rights to financial compensation. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, courts clearly allow victims of nursing home abuse to file lawsuits against nursing homes and obtain financial recovery for their injuries, damages and pain and suffering.
Claims for financial compensation often include:
- medical bills,
- other economic expenses (lost wages, if applicable), and
- pain and suffering.
If you would like to discuss a nursing home injury case in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please call for a free consultation. (215) 985-0777
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