Liability After a Nursing Home Resident Suffers a Head Injury

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When we place our elderly family members in a nursing home, we expect that they’ll receive the diligent care, dignity, and respect we’re promised. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse is an all-too-common problem. Over 15,000 complaints are filed each year citing nursing home neglect and abuse, including incidents of head injuries. According to the CDC, the highest rate of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations and deaths is among the elderly, aged 75 and older. Elderly survivors of head injuries may suffer a diminished quality of life following their injury.

When an elderly family member suffers a serious head injury in a nursing home, it’s important to hold those responsible for the safety and protection of residents accountable.

Common Causes of Head Injuries in Nursing Homes

Head injuries can result from several types of trauma, including from shaking, a strong jolt, or a bump or blow. Common causes of head injuries in nursing homes and assisted living centers include the following:

  • Falls due to improper resident monitoring
  • Drops during moving or transporting
  • Falls due to lack of assistance in toileting or moving from bed to chair and vice versa
  • Falls from too-high beds
  • Negligent security or allowing a resident to wander outside unaccompanied
  • Purposeful abuse from caregivers
  • Assault by another resident
  • Defective or inadequate assistive walking equipment
  • Lack of handrails
  • Overmedicating or medication errors resulting in balance and coordination problems

Nursing home staff members must have extensive training, including how to apply emergency protocols when a resident suffers a head injury. In some cases, the nursing home staff’s failure to put the proper protocols in place after an injury is an act of negligence. A nursing home abuse attorney will be able to prove this negligence to ensure your loved one receives the necessary compensation to make a recovery.

When Is a Nursing Home Liable for a Resident’s Head Injury?

Nursing homes bear liability for an elderly resident’s head injury if the administration’s negligent staffing, training, or hiring practices directly caused the resident’s injury. Nursing home owners and managers have a special duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent injuries to residents. When they breach this duty through negligent monitoring, training, or hiring practices, and the breach of duty directly causes injury, the injured resident and their family shouldn’t be left responsible for the consequences. These consequences of nursing home head injuries are known as “damages” in an injury claim and are often substantial in nursing home resident head injury cases.

What Damages Are Available in a Nursing Home Liability Case?

When a nursing home’s negligent practices result in an injury, the victim and their family may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Typically, this is the nursing home itself, but in some cases, it’s a third party, such as the manufacturer of defective assistive walking equipment or faulty bed rails. Common damages in nursing home liability cases include medical expenses and related costs and compensation for pain, suffering, and diminished life quality. In some cases, a wrongful death claim brings close family members additional compensation such as funeral and burial expenses if a head injury results in the death of the resident.

Claims for damages against nursing homes after a resident suffers a head injury can quickly become complex. Many claims result in significant settlements without the need for a courtroom, but in other cases, the injury victim or their family must file a lawsuit. Personal injury law firms with experience navigating liability claims against nursing homes are the best way to move forward and demand accountability for an elderly loved one’s pain and suffering.