Chattanooga Nursing Home Negligence
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Chattanooga
Nursing homes and assisted living communities are more popular than ever. As people live longer, they need help in carrying out vital functions of everyday life. While most would prefer to provide personal care for their elderly loved ones, not everyone has the necessary time or resources to do so. Therefore, many entrust nursing homes to take proper care of their loved ones. Unfortunately, those employed by nursing homes may fail to provide the appropriate standard of care legally required to patients and residents. If you suspect your loved one has been harmed at a nursing home facility, contact one of the Chattanooga nursing home negligence lawyers of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz to discuss your options. We are the largest Tennessee-based personal injury law firm, dedicated to providing a voice to those who need it the most.
How Nursing Homes Can Mistreat Residents
Each year, an estimated 2.5 million Americans are victims of nursing home negligence or abuse. This is a staggering number that highlights the prevalence of abuse nationwide. However, the problem is much deeper than it appears on paper. In August 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General released a report stating that more than 25% of serious cases of nursing home abuse are not reported to the police, despite laws being in place that require nursing home employees to report such misconduct.
There are many ways in which a nursing home can mistreat a patient. Common forms include neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse or fraud. Visible signs of nursing home negligence are more prevalent in physical and sexual abuse cases, and they can include mysterious cuts, scratches, welts, sores, bruises, and discolorations on the body. Signs of emotional abuse may more difficult to discover, highlighting the importance of paying close attention to your loved ones and looking out for unexplained changes in mood or demeanor. If your loved one has difficulty moving or is immobile and is left unattended for prolonged periods of time, he or she is more likely to develop a bed sore or pressure ulcer, which can cause significant physical pain and lead to infection.
Prevailing on a Nursing Home Negligence Case
Those employed by nursing homes, which can include nurses and other medical practitioners, are under a legal duty to provide a certain standard of care with respect to treating elderly residents. Under the Tennessee Adult Protection Act, “abuse or neglect” is defined by statute as “the infliction of physical pain, injury, or mental anguish, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker that are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult or a situation in which an adult is unable to provide or obtain the services that are necessary to maintain that person’s health or welfare.”
Abuse or mistreatment may result from numerous factors. Sometimes, employees deliberately choose not to follow protocol or company policy. In other situations, the nursing home may be understaffed, thereby limiting the effectiveness of staff members. If a nursing home is not properly staffed, nurses and caretakers may be forced to work longer shifts, making them more susceptible to errors or taking out frustration on a patient. Our nursing home negligence lawyers can help Chattanooga residents satisfy the legal burden of proof against a negligent nursing home by consulting with expert witnesses and reviewing the resident’s file.
To prevail on a claim for nursing home negligence, one must show that he or she suffered actual damages, whether economic or non-economic in nature. Economic damages include out of pocket costs such as past and future medical expenses. Non-economic damages encompass elements like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Few cases are straightforward, and there are a number of factors to consider when thinking of filing a personal injury case. One consideration is a particular state’s statute of limitations. Each state maintains its own rules, and Tennessee requires a nursing home negligence case to be filed within one year of the date the injury occurred, or reasonably should have been discovered. A nursing home negligence attorney in the Chattanooga area will be aware of statutory requirements that must be complied with in order to assert a convincing case in court.
Learn How Our Law Firm Can Help Your Loved One
You do not have to be alone in protecting your loved one’s rights. The dedicated personal injury lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz have over 30 years representing clients in a wide range of cases, including nursing home abuse and medical malpractice. With multiple Tennessee offices, we are equipped to help people statewide, including communities in and around Hamilton County like Chattanooga, East Ridge, Cleveland, Soddy-Daisy, and Monteagle. To speak with one of our Chattanooga nursing home negligence attorneys, contact our office toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. NST is the way to go.