Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if your loved one was hurt by nursing home abuse or negligence. Her symptoms may be vague or may be caused by a medical condition. However, if your loved one has suffered a facial injury, her physical pain and emotional suffering may be easily visible to you and to everyone else. It can be hard to see your loved one suffering in this way and you deserve to know the facts about facial injuries in nursing homes so that you can advocate for and protect your loved one now.
Facial Injuries in Nursing Homes—the Statistics
Facial injuries among nursing home residents are, unfortunately, common occurrences. According to a 2017 study published in JAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery:
- More than 20,000 nursing home residents in the United States suffered facial injuries in 2016.
- 109,795 nursing home residents in the United States required emergency room care for facial injuries from 2011 to 2015. 100% of these residents were over the age of 60, 50% of these residents were over the age of 84, and 65% of these residents were women.
The severity of these injuries may be underestimated.
How Nursing Home Residents Suffer Facial Injuries
The majority of nursing home residents suffer facial injuries during falls. Residents may be unable to break their falls with their hands, arms, or legs and their faces may collide with the hard surface of the nursing home floor or another hard surface such as a cabinet or countertop. This can happen, for example, when a resident is getting in or out of bed without assistance.
While not every fall and not every facial injury is the result of nursing home abuse of negligence, sometimes nursing home staff fail to exercise reasonable care or they purposefully hurt nursing home residents. A facial injury could be the result of nursing home abuse or negligence if a staff member:
- Hit, punched, or otherwise intentionally injured a resident
- Failed to check on a resident often enough to see if the resident needed help getting up, needed assistance getting to the bathroom, or needed to get something
- Failed to respond to a request for assistance
- Failed to provide adequate fall protection equipment
- Failed to conduct a fall assessment evaluation of the resident
- Failed to recommend appropriate accommodations to prevent falls
- Failed to implement the recommended accommodations to prevent falls
If one of these things—or if any other form of negligence or abuse happened—the nursing home may be liable for your loved one’s injuries.
Facial Injuries Can Be Serious Injuries
Facial injuries are not just cosmetic. In addition to the pain and embarrassment of cuts or bruises, a facial injury may also impact:
Senior citizens may have a harder time recovering from an injury to the mouth, nose, eye, ear or other part of the face than younger people. Longer hospitalizations, permanent disabilities and even fatalities may be more likely.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
In order to make a legal recovery, your loved one will need to prove that her injury was caused by nursing home negligence or abuse. This can be difficult to do. However, our experienced nursing home injury lawyers know what evidence to look for to determine whether nursing home abuse or negligence was to blame for a nursing home resident’s injury. If nursing home negligence or abuse was to blame for an injury, we also know what arguments to make to the insurance company or to the court so that we can protect the resident’s right to a fair recovery.
A fair recovery may include compensation for past and future medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain and emotional suffering. If your loved one was hurt in a nursing home, we encourage you to contact our legal team today for a free and confidential case evaluation. We can be reached at any time via this website or by phone and we look forward to talking to you about your loved one’s rights and potential recovery.