DC Nursing Home Wandering Lawyer

Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is an important one. Not only should these facilities provide for the nursing needs of their residents but also their day to day care. Because the medical needs of patients can range from physical infirmities to mental conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, staff should be prepared for any eventuality.

One surprisingly common way for a resident of a nursing home to suffer an injury is when they wander out of the sight of staff. Since these residents are often unable to care for their own physical needs or may lack awareness of their surroundings, they may endure injuries ranging from slips and falls, to being hit by cars, to simply being exposed to the elements.

A DC nursing home wandering lawyer may be able to help. Nursing homes that provide inadequate supervision that causes an injury carry legal liability. This can include payments for any outstanding medical bills or mental anguish. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney could help individuals to gather the necessary evidence and to pursue damages in settlement talks and at trial.

Reasons that a Nursing Home Resident May Wander

Residents in nursing homes may need constant care for not just physical infirmities. Many patients also suffer from mental health conditions. These conditions can leave these people unable to care for their own wellbeing and to lack a general understanding of the world around them. As a result, mental health conditions commonly cause people to wander out from under the protective eye of trained staff.

This could result in a number of preventable injuries. Even if a resident only wanders away within the confines of the nursing home, they may enter into areas where staff are not currently present or even into areas where residents are never supposed to go. This could result in injuries from a simple slip and fall.

More serious are situations where a resident may wander off the property. During the winter this may expose a resident to dangerous weather causing illness. At any time of the year, a resident may wander into traffic or even fall victim to an assault. A Washington DC nursing home wandering lawyer could help individuals to gather evidence of how an incident of wandering resulted in an injury.

Why a Nursing Home May be at Fault

Nursing homes have an obligation to provide competent nursing care to their residents. However, they also have an obligation to protect their residents from any foreseeable accidental harm. One foreseeable source of harm is when infirm residents may wander from the watchful eye of staff. As such, staff have a duty to maintain constant vigilance over their charges.

Ways that staff may violate this duty include:

  • Not maintaining proper supervisory plans to keep an eye on residents
  • Failing to lock doors that limit areas within the facility that residents may access
  • Not keeping staff on watch on doors to the outside world

This is not to say that residents cannot move without staff permission, but nursing homes must be sure to ensure that access is appropriately limited.

If a nursing home fails in this duty, and a resident is injured, that nursing home is responsible to provide compensation for any resulting harm. This can include payments for medical bills as well as compensation for any emotional distress.

Even if the facts in the case are clear that the nursing home is at fault, a case may still fail if a plaintiff does not act on time. DC Code §12-301 gives potential plaintiffs only three years from the date of injury to pursue a case.

Work with a DC Nursing Home Wandering Attorney

Wandering is a common source of injuries suffered by nursing home patients. This is because people with mental health conditions may lose their sense of space and time. This can cause them to attempt to leave the facility or even to unconsciously wander out into the street. This can expose them to a variety of hazards ranging from weather, to ice, to traffic.

A Washington DC nursing home wandering lawyer may be able to help people injured due to wandering off from their nursing homes. A nursing home has a duty to protect people from foreseeable accidental harm.

If a nursing home’s neglect allowed a resident to wander off, that nursing home may have legal liability to provide compensation. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.