Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What will happen after I file my nursing home complaint?”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has killed over 2,600 people in the U.S., is disproportionately affecting the elderly and nursing home residents. For many nursing home residents, especially those with underlying conditions, the COVID-19 virus can be lethal.
As older adults and those with underlying conditions are the most vulnerable to the virus, nursing homes and other elder care facilities must follow infection control protocols as well as guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Failure to do so during the pandemic may give rise to a nursing home neglect lawsuit.
COVID-19 and Nursing Home Neglect
Although the COVID-19 outbreak at nursing homes is an unprecedented event that caught many facilities off guard, it is evident that many of them were negligently unprepared to cope with an outbreak of this magnitude and failed to follow regulations regarding infection control to prevent or minimize the exposure to the coronavirus.
Failure to follow CDC-recommended guidelines and infection control regulations could be grounds for a lawsuit against the negligent nursing home. Following those guidelines and adopting appropriate COVID-19 prevention measures is the legal duty of any nursing home and assisted living facility in North Carolina and other states.
Coronavirus Prevention Measures at Nursing Homes
Below are some of the coronavirus prevention measures that any nursing home must adopt to prevent or limit the spread of the virus within the facility. If the facility failed to employ any of these preventative techniques, and your loved one got infected or died from COVID-19 as a result, contact a Charlotte nursing home neglect attorney to review your case for the possible option of pursuing legal action.
Disinfection of Surfaces and Objects at a Nursing Home
If not cleaned regularly and adequately, surfaces and objects inside nursing homes can contribute to the spread of the coronavirus. For this reason, nursing home staff must frequently disinfect all tables, chairs, beds, floors, door handles, and other surfaces and objects inside the facility.
Wearing Protective Masks and Gloves
The coronavirus can be spread by infected residents and nursing home staff members. For this reason, the CDC recommends that all facility workers wear a protective face mask and gloves to prevent the spread of the virus. If the owner of the facility fails to provide appropriate protective equipment to workers, this could constitute grounds for a nursing home neglect lawsuit.
Isolating Residents with COVID-19
If a nursing home resident is suspected of having COVID-19, the facility staff must quickly isolate and quarantine him or her until the diagnosis is confirmed or ruled out. Residents who are showing coronavirus symptoms, such as fever, cough, and breathing problems, must be isolated to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility.
Failure to isolate a potentially infected resident may constitute nursing home neglect.
Complying with Regulations to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
According to federal guidance for infection control and prevention in nursing homes, facilities must:
- Control and prevent infections within the nursing home;
- Isolate potentially infected residents;
- Prohibit potentially contagious facility workers from interacting with residents, their food, clothes, and linens; and
- Document any infection control incidents as well as preventative actions that are taken.
Unfortunately, failure to adopt the above-mentioned measures on the part of the nursing home may result in a resident’s death after contracting the coronavirus. In that case, surviving family members of the deceased nursing home resident may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the facility. Contact our Charlotte nursing home neglect attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, for a case review. Call us now at 704-370-2828 to speak with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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