3 Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Care Home Injury Claims

Many people are surprised to learn that personal injury lawyers can help win compensation for injuries that occur within a nursing home. If you have an elderly relative that has recently been injured in a care home, your family may be able to make a claim. To help you with this, below are three commonly asked questions about filing injury claims against nursing homes:

What Sort of Accidents can occur in Care Homes?

There are a wide variety of accidents that can occur in nursing homes. Due to the fragility of some elderly care home patients, accidents can range in severity from mild trauma caused by trips or falls, to fractures or broken bones caused by particularly severe incidents. Injuries can also occur due to caregiver negligence – for example, some patients may develop sores if they are not helped to move around and keep their blood flowing around their system.

Elderly patients are, in the vast majority of cases, more injury-prone than younger adults. As such, injuries that may seem minor on the surface can, in many cases, take a significantly long time for elderly patients to recover from. Therefore, it is imperative that caregivers provide ample assistance to elderly patients to ensure their well-being.

If your loved one has suffered due to caregiver negligence, they may be able to make a claim. Care home assistants have a legal requirement to ensure the well-being of their patients, so you should speak to a personal injury lawyer about the options available to you and your loved one.

When Can a Claim Be Made?

Nursing home personal injury or caregiver negligence claims generally fall under the category of medical negligence. Each individual state has its own statute of limitations that will give guidance on the time restrictions on making a claim; however, in most cases, you will have to file the claim within one or two years of the injury occurring.

Medical negligence is an extremely tricky area of law, as most claims will be handled by insurance companies who have access to high-quality legal advice to defend their clients. As such, it is vitally important that you consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling medical negligence claims. It is also important to act quickly if you believe your loved one has been neglected at a care home. These cases can take a long time to construct due to the sensitive nature of medical negligence; therefore, you must take necessary steps as soon as possible to ensure valuable time isn't lost.

What Sort of Compensation is Available in Claims Against Care Homes?

As mentioned, nursing home claims are generally classed as medical negligence claims. This means that there will be four main types of compensation available to your loved one. The value of this compensation will be calculated on a case-by-case basis but will generally include the following:

  • Special Damages – This compensation covers your loved one's financial expenses that have occurred as a direct result of their accident. In nursing home claims, this will generally cover your loved one's medical expenses that arose from their injury.

  • General Damages – General damages compensates for any pain or suffering that has occurred due to injury. In elderly patients, the recovery time for minor injuries can be extensive, so general damages can often account for a large amount of the final settlement. As such, it is important that your relative receives immediate legal advice as to how much they may be able to claim for.

  • Interest – Your relative will be able to claim interest on both special and general damages, which is usually backdated to the time of injury.

  • Legal costs – If your loved one's claim is successful, their settlement will usually cover all legal fees incurred during the claims process. Many lawyers choose to work on a contingency basis, which means your loved one will only pay if their claim is successful.

For more information and legal advice, talk with a professional personal injury lawyer, such as those at Dunnigan & Messier P.C..