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Nursing Home Negligence and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Posted in , on April 23, 2020

Some of the hardest-hit groups from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been in nursing homes. Outbreaks have affected entire communities. Because nursing home residents tend to be vulnerable, the suffering has been particularly high.

For many nursing home residents, the response to Coronavirus has been too little, too late. Their families may be left wondering where to turn. Surviving residents may have prolonged suffering and medical needs. Fortunately, an attorney for nursing home neglect can help victims demand financial compensation and justice.

Nursing Home

Nursing Home Neglect and COVID-19

Suing for nursing home neglect for COVID-19 may be an option for victims of novel Coronavirus. When an outbreak of Coronavirus occurs in a nursing home, the victims may deserve compensation. The legal claim is based on the failure of the nursing care facility to take adequate care to protect the safety of their residents. When suing for nursing home neglect for COVID-19, damages may include healthcare expenses, pain and suffering, costs of transfer (if needed) and more.

Causes of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

It may be hard to trace precisely how COVID-19 was introduced into a nursing home. However, the home operators have a legal obligation to provide reasonable measures for the safety of their residents. They must look at all aspects of care, including protection from slip and falls, monitoring of residents so that they can report care needs, adequate nutrition, social needs and more.

Here are just some of the possible causes of COVID-19 in nursing homes:

  • Poor screening of visitors – Sometimes, a nursing home has more visitors than they have residents. In light of the dangers of COVID-19, workers should take reasonable measures to prevent carriers from entering the facility. They may need to prohibit all non-residents from entering the facility. They may also need to screen workers for illness or travel history.
  • Inadequate staffing – Insufficient staffing levels can allow COVID-19 to spread in nursing home facilities. Workers may not have the time or attention to notice the virus spreading and take reasonable measures to stop it.
  • Shared community meals – Residents of a home often enjoy eating meals together. However, when meals can’t be safely taken together, the home needs to create restrictions and guidelines to help their residents.
  • Sanitation concerns – Nursing home residents often don’t receive the sanitation services that they deserve. The facility may leave elderly residents in charge of sanitizing their own rooms. They may not put extra measures in place to combat the pandemic.
  • Community activities – Residents look forward to participating in activities. Exercise groups, puzzle clubs and movie watching parties are all part of the fun of living in a home. However, the facility needs to monitor when these activities are unsafe because of a virus. They should postpone these activities long before they have a chance to cause harm.
  • Failing to recognize signs and symptoms – Facility operators should continuously monitor the conditions in their facilities and be proactive when potential dangers are present.

How to Sue For Nursing Home Neglect for COVID-19

When suing for nursing home neglect for COVID-19, there are multiple legal theories. You may raise legal issues of negligence, and you may also cite violations of the statement of Colorado Nursing Home Residents Rights.

Most nursing home neglect cases are based on negligence, which is another way of saying personal injury. However, if COVID-19 hurts nursing home residents in Colorado, you may raise both issues of negligence and violations of the Colorado Nursing Home Residents Rights.

Colorado Negligence Lawsuit – COVID-19

Negligence is the most likely basis of a COVID-19 nursing home lawsuit. The legal theory is that the nursing home failed to take reasonable steps to address the virus threat before it impacted residents. When the court examines the case to determine if the nursing home has legal liability, they look at what’s reasonable. Knowing that the nursing home residents are a vulnerable population, the nursing home has a high duty to remedy dangers.

Knowing the threat posed by the novel Coronavirus, nursing homes must respond appropriately. If they do not put reasonable safety measures in place, they may be legally liable to their victims. There is no automatic legal liability when virus transmission occurs. However, the legal standard is reasonable safety measures for the people who own and operate the care facility.

Colorado COVID-19 Nursing Home Residents Rights Lawsuit

The Colorado Nursing Home Residents Rights is a statement of rights that every person has when they live in a nursing home. The rights are in addition to those that you have under general personal injury law. There are many sections of the statement of Nursing Home Residents Rights that may be applicable when a resident contracts COVID-19.

For example, section 12.1.1 says that a resident has the right to receive adequate and appropriate health care consistent with recognized medical standards. Also, section 12.1.6 says that all residents have the right to be fully informed of their medical conditions. They have the right to participate in the planning of their own medical treatment. A facility may waive the 30-day notice requirement for transfers during a health or safety emergency.

When a resident contracts COVID-19, and the facility has breached one or more measures of the Nursing Home Residents Rights, the breach may be strong evidence for a lawsuit brought on behalf of the victim.

What Can You Receive In a Nursing Home COVID-19 Suit?

The damages that you may claim for a nursing home COVID-19 lawsuit include:

  • Medical care expenses
  • Psychological care and counseling
  • Antibiotics and medication
  • Sanitization expenses
  • Transfer to a new facility, if needed
  • Pain and suffering
  • Compensation for loss of life activity like participation in physical activities, community events
  • Treatment for anxiety and mental health needs
  • Mobility aids
  • Cost of nursing care
  • Wrongful death compensation

Attorneys for Coronavirus Nursing Home Lawsuits

Have you or a loved one contracted COVID-19 while living in a nursing home? You may deserve financial compensation for your suffering. Let our attorneys guide you through the process and work to maximize your compensation. Call us today for a confidential consultation with our Colorado legal team who will treat you with the dignity, respect and compassion you deserve.

Kyle Bachus

Kyle opened Bachus & Schanker, with little more than a tiny, rented office and a lot of determination. Starting with less than $15,000, their business has grown into one of the largest, most well respected personal injury firms in the Colorado region. Kyle and his partner Darin Schanker are committed to understanding the circumstances confronting their clients, and ensuring that responsible parties are held accountable for damages they have caused.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
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