As the elderly population in the United States grows, the number of adults entering nursing care facilities and assisted living communities is also on the rise. To accommodate this accelerated need for these facilities, the nursing home industry has expanded rapidly. Unfortunately, this growth has resulted in many facilities being either unstaffed or having employees without adequate training or experience.
However, even though the industry is growing, this does not excuse a nursing home from having unsafe living conditions for every resident. Therefore, when a patient suffers severe and even fatal injuries because of improper treatment, this can be the grounds for a wrongful death claim on the basis of negligence.
If your loved one passed away due to a nursing home’s neglect, a compassionate lawyer familiar with wrongful deaths in Michigan nursing homes may be able to help during this difficult time. By shouldering the burden of conducting an investigation, gathering evidence, and working tirelessly to build a persuasive claim, a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could allow you to focus on spending time with your family.
How Deadly Accidents Happen in Nursing Facilities
While understaffing and inexperience are common reasons, they are just two of the many factors that may lead to wrongful deaths in Michigan nursing homes. Other common factors based on nursing home negligence include:
- Debris on the floor or wet spots caused by spills or leaks that cause a patient to slip and fall
- Infections, such as sepsis
- Inattentive staff who do not remember or know how to check on residents—this can lead to numerous injuries, as well as a patient wandering away from the home
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Inappropriate dosing of medications provided by untrained medical staff
- Untreated bedsores and pressure sores
- Falls from bed, chairs, or toilets
- Choking and asphyxiation
- Burn injuries
Families trust nursing home facilities and their staff members to keep their loved ones safe. Sometimes, dementia or another medical condition means that a patient requires additional observation for safety. One of the primary reasons for this need is to keep them from wandering away from a nursing home.
These residents are often the most vulnerable to dangers outside the facility. Unfortunately, residents of nursing home facilities do not always receive the observation they require. During the winter months, this neglect of care may result in a resident being left in the cold and suffering hypothermia. This condition often results in physical and mental impairments, as well as unconsciousness and fatal accidents.
Falls are some of the most common fatal accidents in Michigan nursing homes, often resulting in brain bleeds and other deadly injuries. These incidents are most prevalent in elderly patients. About 10% to 25% of falls result in hospital admission or fractures.
Nursing home falls often result in direct trauma to the head, which may put excessive force on the brain and result in an inter-cranial bleed, commonly referred to as a subdural hematoma or brain bleed. Subdural hematomas (SDH) often happen when blood vessels burst in the space between the brain and the outermost membrane that covers the brain.
A fall resulting in trauma to the head can cause a hematoma, or gathering of blood, and this puts pressure in the brain tissues. When the pressure is continuous and the active bleed builds, serious and fatal injuries. Acute subdural hematomas are among the most lethal of head injuries, with a mortality rate of between 50-90%. Roughly 30% of fatal head injuries include an acute subdural hematoma.
How a Lawyer Could Help After a Fatal Accident in a Michigan Nursing Home
Losing a loved one is never easy, no matter the circumstances. However, when a nursing home directly causes a fatal accident, you may be traumatized and overwhelmed.
While no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, filing a claim may help to provide a sense of justice and closure during this difficult time. An experienced and caring lawyer familiar with claims arising from wrongful deaths in Michigan nursing homes could work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you deserve. Whenever you feel ready, reach out to a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to discuss your circumstances.
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