Your family made the difficult decision to move your loved one to a nursing home so that your loved one could be safe. At a minimum, you expected nursing home staff to know where your loved one was at all times. Unfortunately, negligent or inadequate nursing home care allowed your loved one to wander away from their room or facility, and your loved one may have died as a result.
The experienced Rhode Island nursing home abuse lawyers at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum know how we would feel if this happened to a member of our family, and we are here to seek justice for your family.
How Nursing Home Negligence Causes Wandering and Elopement
Wandering is a common issue among elderly individuals, particularly those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It refers to the aimless movement or walking exhibited by some residents in nursing homes. Wandering becomes elopement when a resident leaves the nursing home premises unsupervised. Elopement may occur for several different reasons.
Nursing home staff may not provide the necessary level of supervision to prevent residents from wandering off. Nursing home staff may be distracted or indifferent to your loved one's safety.
Given the circumstances, the nursing home staff on duty may have done their best even though your loved one wandered. However, if nursing home management failed to have enough staff on duty to supervise residents safely, your loved one may have been unsupervised and may have wandered away without staff knowledge.
Poor Facility Design
Facilities that lack secure exits or have confusing layouts can make it easier for residents to elope.
Failure to Assess Your Loved One's Risk
Nursing homes should assess each resident's risk of wandering and implement appropriate safety measures to prevent elopement.
Do You Have a Nursing Home Negligence Case?
If your loved one got hurt or died after wandering off from a nursing home, you might have a case against the nursing home if you can prove the following elements of negligence.
The Nursing Home Breached Its Duty of Care
The nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care. You must prove that the nursing home failed to provide reasonable care and supervision to prevent wandering.
You need to establish a direct link between the nursing home's negligence and your loved one's elopement and subsequent death.
It's crucial to show that your family suffered damages because of your loved one's death. Damages may include but are not limited to medical bills your loved one incurred because of the elopement, but before death, funeral costs, and emotional suffering.
The Importance of Nursing Home Wandering Negligence Cases
Pursuing a legal case against a nursing home for the wrongful death of a loved one who wandered off is essential for several reasons.
First, a nursing home wandering wrongful death case can hold the nursing home accountable for negligence or elder abuse.
Additionally, a nursing home wandering lawsuit can provide closure and justice for your family. Closure and justice include financial compensation for your loved one's death.
Finally, your nursing home wandering case can prevent future elopements and ensure that other residents receive the care they deserve. Legal action can incentivize nursing homes to improve safety measures and staff training to prevent elopement.
How a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Can Help Your Family
Navigating a legal case against a nursing home can be complex and emotionally challenging. A Rhode Island nursing home abuse lawyer can provide invaluable assistance by (1) conducting a thorough case evaluation to determine whether pursuing legal action is warranted; (2) gathering evidence to build a solid case; and (3) using legal knowledge and experience to interpret relevant laws and regulations to present your case effectively to insurance providers and in court.Your family has suffered significant worry and anguish because of your loved one's elopement injury or death. An experienced Rhode Island nursing home abuse lawyer can guide you through the legal process, helping you seek the compensation and closure you deserve during this difficult time.