When a loved one is placed in a nursing home, there is an expectation of safety. After all, the reason why the loved one is placed into the nursing home is for their safety. Far too many times, the residents of nursing homes are victims of abuse. Classic signs include unexplained injuries, evasive behavior by the caregivers and unexplained fear of the victim.
Instances of negligence occur when nursing home caregivers fail to properly observe and treat the elderly men and women they are getting paid to watch over. Examples of such negligence includes:
- Failure to administer medicine
- Failure to monitor activity
- Assaults by other patients
- Improper diet
- Inattention to behavior
- Failing to control behavior
Insurance Company Tactics
In the event a loved one is injured due to the actions of a nursing home, you will inevitably have to deal with an insurance company. When dealing with an insurance company, it is important to note the following:
INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NOT ON YOUR SIDE
When insurance companies find out about a potential nursing home negligence claim, they will contact you immediately. They will ask you to provide a statement of what happened and they will ask you to provide them with all of your medical records and bills related to the accident. At first, these insurance companies will appear to be on your side and may come across as someone who is trying to help you get through your injury. Despite this, after complying with all of their demands, the insurance company will offer you a settlement which is substantially inadequate. Most of the time, the offer doesn’t even cover your medical bills, let alone your pain and suffering.
Insurance companies will employ many different tactics to try to convince you that your claim isn’t what you think it is. One of these tactics is to tell the injured party that they contributed to the accident. This is called comparative fault.
Comparative fault is a doctrine recognized by Missouri law which essentially allows fault or blame to be placed upon the injured party. Specifically, juries are told that if they see fit, they may assign a percentage of fault to an injured party based upon the facts of the case. For example, a jury may find that an injured party’s actions, although not the main reason, still contributed to the dog bite and as such will assign fault to the injured party. This assignment of fault will reduce your award in proportion to the percentage assigned.
Insurance companies are well aware of this doctrine and will often times abuse this doctrine in an attempt to make the injured party believe they played a role in the accident. Insurance companies will make a determination for themselves as to what percentage of blame is to be placed upon the injured driver. Despite following all applicable rules and regulations, insurance companies simply think being cut off by another driver is the injured party’s fault. Of course, this doesn’t follow simple logic, but that is how insurance companies think.
Why You Need to Hire a Lawyer
When an attorney gets involved in a nursing home negligene case, insurance companies take notice. They begin to realize that they can no longer take advantage of an injured person who is in a bad situation. Insurance companies know that an attorney has the ability and resources to properly investigate an accident. Likewise, an attorney understands all the facets of a personal injury claim giving you a distinct advantage against the insurance company. All in all, when an attorney gets involved, the insurance company knows that the injured party means business.
What We Can Do For You
The Law Office of Steve Slough routinely handles nursing home negligence cases. The firm prides itself on standing up to insurance companies and fighting for construction accident victims. We have experience in dealing with insurance companies and know how to quickly discredit the theories they use to deny your claim.
If you have a loved one who has been injured at a nursing home, please feel free to call our office for a free consultation.