What can we do if my grandmother fell in a nursing home and passed away due to injuries? 21 Answers as of January 23, 2014

My grandmother who was a fall risk fell in the bathroom at her nursing home. My grandfather who shared the room with her, heard her fall and called the nurse. She was taken to the hospital where she waited for 24 hours before she was scheduled for a CAT scan in another 24 hours. My dad spoke with the doctor 12 hours before her scan about the swelling on her head. They moved the scan up 12 hours and when the tech came to get her, the nurse said she knew nothing about the new CAT scan and didn't let her go. Later that night, she crashed and had to be revived. They released the pressure off her brain and said she was lucky to make it through the night. She died a few days later. 2 weeks ago the medical examiner changed her death from natural to accidental. Any advice on what our next step should be would be greatly appreciated.

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The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
This should absolutely be investigated for nursing home negligence. There are very strict rules for reducing fall risk, and they may well not have been followed in this case. Also, negligence may have led to the "crashing," as well as to failures thereafter to address matters that may have allowed her to survive. There is a lot to look at here, and that should be started immediately, so as not to get into any statute of limitations problems. Was your grandmother on any fall precautions, care-wise (such as requiring assistance to the bathroom)?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/23/2014
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
From what you have described it was terrible care really. This area is nursing home malpractice because it involves suing professionals for not meeting nursing home standards. Many civil trial lawyers in Iowa handle this sort of litigation. If you need a referral or would like us to look at it, assuming it is in Iowa, call our office to schedule a telephone conference. Otherwise best of luck to you.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 1/20/2014
Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
This appears to be case of nursing home negligence and wrongful death. Your parents will likely have a wrongful death lawsuit claim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Medical and dental malpractice claims are, by their nature, very difficult. Under California law, it is necessary, before filing suit, to obtain an affidavit from another professional, verifying that he has reviewed the medical charts and has found that there was negligence. This can cost several thousand dollars, and most attorneys expect that the client will cover this cost. Negligence could be defined as the failure to use REASONABLE care; not all bad outcomes are the result of negligence. You should also be aware that there is a cap on the amount of recovery for pain and suffering, thanks to the doctor lobby. Sometimes one has a good case theoretically, but the damages are too small to warrant a suit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2014
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
There is no practical way for an elderly person to have a nurse at hand 24/7 and there is always risk in places like the bathroom. Why don't you get the entire medical chart (yes, all of it) and have your doctor review it and ask him if you have a claim. Probably not.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/17/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Now is the time to see a medical malpractice attorney. There may be a cause of action against the nursing home and/or the hospital.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    I would start by filing a complaint with the state and demand an investigation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Jules D'Alessandro | Jules D'Alessandro
    My deepest and sincere condolences on the death of your mother. When pursuing a medical malpractice action especially involving one with a nursing home there is only one option, you must hire a competent medical malpractice attorney. The issues surrounding a case such as yours are numerous and very complicated. All information must be reviewed by medical experts working with the attorney to determine the exact nature of the negligence that resulted in the death of your mother.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Talk to an elder law or malpractice attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    James M. Chandler | James M. Chandler
    You need to see an attorney that specializes in wrongful death cases. You might have a good case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    You should hire a lawyer to send a demand letter to the nursing home and its insurance company. If they won't settle, you should file a lawsuit. Let me know if you need a referral.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Cloon Law Firm
    Cloon Law Firm | Bryson R. Cloon
    You should have this investigated immediately as it sounds like a case of negligence by the nursing home and the hospital.. Records need to be obtained and preserved.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Pennington & Martinez
    Pennington & Martinez | Dennis A Pennington
    That sounds like two possible negligence claims. You should contact an attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It takes a medical expert to answer your question. Medical malpractice lawyers typically have such experts available. Consider consulting one. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Hire an attorney. You may have a negligence or medical malpractice claim.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S.
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S. | Wayne J. Wimer
    This is one of those areas where you really need an attorney to investigate the matter for you. If she was classified as a vulnerable adult, then higher standards of care apply to the facility providing the care, and in the abstract, waiting 48 hours to do a CAT scan seems hazardous at best.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    You need an attorney who is experienced in prosecuting these actions to investigate the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Goldstein and Peck. P.C.
    Goldstein and Peck. P.C. | William J. Kupinse, Jr
    You can consult with an attorney about the advisability of bringing an action possibly for malpractice on the part of the nursing home or the hospital or both. The above is an answer to a general legal question and should not be considered as legal advice on your specific issues; nor does the answer constitute representation of you for any purpose.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    I am sorry for your loss. You should get counsel to help you quickly. You must show the nursing home acted un reasonably causing the conditions of the fall knowing your grandmother's medical issues.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.
    Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A. | John W. Merting
    Discuss with a law firm that does medical malpractice and nursing home cases.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/17/2014
    Law Office of John B. Pike | John B. Pike
    If the injuries and death are directly related to the fall then a claim can filed.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/17/2014
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