Nursing homes have a duty to their residents to provide adequate care in a safe environment. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect often result in severe injuries and wrongful deaths in West Palm Beach, Florida. Elopement in nursing homes (patients wandering off) is more common than families realize.
When you trust your loved one to the care of a nursing home, you expect the facility to take measures so that they do not “lose” your family member. In other words, you expect a level of care that prevents residents from leaving the facility on their own.
When a nursing home fails to care for your loved one, Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers is here to help. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with an experienced West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer. Call us today at 561-556-7873.
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How Our West Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help You With an Elopement Claim
Our West Palm Beach nursing home elopement lawyers understand the potential consequences when a patient leaves the facility. We have over 28 years of legal experience handling injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits. Our law firm has recovered millions of dollars in jury verdicts and negotiated settlements for our clients.
When you hire our legal team at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers, you can expect us to:
- Investigate your claim to determine why your loved one was allowed to leave the nursing home unsupervised
- Hire investigators and experts to assist with the case as necessary
- Examine past reports of negligence and records from state and federal agencies
- File all documents to initiate a claim and handle all matters related to the injury claim
- Handle all communications with the nursing home, its insurance company, and their lawyers
- Document your loved one’s damages to calculate how much the nursing home elopement claim is worth
- Aggressively negotiate a settlement that is in your family member’s best interest
- File a lawsuit and proceed to court if that is necessary to protect your loved one’s right to fair compensation for damages
Throughout the nursing home elopement case, our legal team will advise you of the status of the case. In addition, our lawyers will provide guidance and support as they continue to give you legal advice regarding your options.
Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced nursing home elopement lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL.
What Is Elopement in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility?
Elopement is a term used by professionals in the long-term care industry to describe a situation where a patient or resident leaves the facility without supervision. This situation should never happen.
Leaving the facility without assistance is dangerous. The person could fall, walk into traffic, wander off the property, and be victimized.
Residents can sustain traumatic injuries if they wander outside unsupervised. Sometimes, staff members might not realize the patient is missing until it is too late to save their life.
Why Do Patients Leave Nursing Homes Without Supervision?
There is a difference between wandering and elopement. Elopement is leaving the facility. On the other hand, a patient might wander throughout the nursing home without walking outside.
Patients in a nursing home might wander because:
- The patient is in an unfamiliar environment
- They are confused or sick
- Staff members are not meeting the patient’s needs
- The patient is hungry, thirsty, or needs assistance with personal care
- The person is overly medicated
- The resident wants to visit family members or “go home”
- Changes in the resident’s medication
Patients might wander intentionally because they want to find someone or need something. On the other hand, they might wander aimlessly because they are stressed or confused. Patients might also wander because of environmental clues, such as seeing something they want or exploring another section of the nursing home.
Regardless of why a patient walks around a nursing home, wandering can lead to elopement. Therefore, nursing homes have a duty to address elopement risks and take steps to prevent elopement in long-term care facilities.
Why Does Elopement Occur in Nursing Homes?
Elopement and wandering in nursing homes might occur for one or more reasons.
Common reasons why nursing homes allow patients to wander and leave the facility include:
- Understaffing, which creates a lack of supervision of patients
- Failing to use a wander guard for high-risk residents
- Abuse and neglect cause the patient to try to get away from the nursing home
- Side effects from medication
- Over-medicating nursing home patients
- Failing to implement monitoring procedures to ensure patients do not leave
- Inadequate security, including lack of exit procedures, alarms, security cameras, door locks, window locks, and security personnel
- Failing to analyze elopement risks to develop protocols and procedures to prevent elopement
- No plan in place for immediate action if a patient leaves the nursing home without assistance
A nursing home can be held financially liable for injuries and damages caused by elopement. If your loved one wandered out of a nursing home, they could be entitled to compensation for their damages. A West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer can help you gather evidence proving fault and wrongdoing by the facility.
Florida’s statute of limitations limits the time to file a nursing home elopement claim. Waiting to seek legal advice could jeopardize your loved one’s case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our West Palm Beach Nursing Home Elopement Attorneys
We are concerned about the safety and well-being of your loved one, and we want to help. Our lawyers firmly believe that nursing homes must be held accountable when negligence, intentional acts, and other wrongdoing causes patients to suffer harm. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a West Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorney.