Why accidents in nursing homes are almost never really “accidents”

One of the basic promises that a nursing home makes when they accept someone as a resident is that they will do what is necessary to keep them safe and to prevent unnecessary injuries or declines in their overall condition. It isn’t just something that is promised – it is actually something that is required by federal regulations.

Most of the cases that a personal injury lawyer handles are truly “accidents.” For example, you might be walking down the aisle in a grocery store and slip on a grape that was on the floor or you are sitting at a red light and someone is looking at their cell phone and doesn’t stop in time. These are accidents – things that happen in a flash moment in time which can have devastating consequences. And true to the word, totally unpredictable.

Most of the care that gets provided in a nursing home is routine care – these are things that a resident needs on a day-in, day-out, shift-to-shift basis. Like most businesses that provide services as a matter of routine, there is a system in place at nursing homes for providing that routine care that residents require. It is known as the care planning process.

The care planning process is a method of identifying what the risks to the health and well-being of the resident are and what steps need to be taken to prevent unnecessary injuries of declines in the condition of the resident. When the care planning process is done properly, many of the accidents and injuries which nursing home residents suffer can be avoided.

For a nursing home lawyer, the care planning process also serves as a framework for analyzing and prosecuting the case against the nursing home. Done properly, it turns an “accident” that happens in a flash moment in time to something that was the inevitable result of a breakdown in the care planning process. It turns that unpredictable flash moment in time which results in an injury like a broken hip from a fall in a nursing home into the very predictable result of necessary care not being provided. That change in outlook drives results in nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

How we do this in practice is a topic of a free report called A Framework for Prosecuting Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Cases which is available in the Resource Center and will be a topic of discussion on this week’s episode of Fighting For What’s Right, heard at 6 am on Saturday morning at WYLL AM-1160 and at 8 am on WIND AM-560.

Order the report or tune in to learn more ….