Did Your Loved One Contract A Coronavirus Infection In A Seattle Nursing Home?
When COVID-19 hit the United States, Seattle nursing homes were among the hotspots for the virus. Sadly, older nursing home residents with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to serious harm from the coronavirus. For many of these older people, contracting COVID-19 in a nursing home was fatal, but with proper planning and sanitation guidelines, many of these deaths could have been prevented.
If you or your loved one suffered a serious COVID-19 infection because of nursing home negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. To determine if you have a case, contact Pendergast Law at 888-539-9211. We offer free consultations, so there is no cost to discuss your case with us.
Are Nursing Homes Liable For COVID-19 Injuries And Deaths?
Nursing homes are responsible for the safety and health of all residents under their care, as outlined by multiple federal and state laws. One of the most notable is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Final Rule, which outlines strict reforms and regulations for nursing homes, including requiring an Infection Prevention and Control Program (IPCP) to be put in place and implemented in the event of an outbreak.
When an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic arises, nursing homes must respond appropriately, making the safety of their residents their number one priority. Federal laws require these facilities to monitor residents for infections to minimize the spread of the disease and control outbreaks. When they fail to do so, they may be guilty of neglect and liable for the resulting injuries.
How an IPCP is implemented may vary depending on the disease, but there are general steps that nursing homes can take to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:
- Testing and identifying infected residents and staffs
- Limiting or canceling social activities and visiting hours
- Strict hand sanitization procedures
- Utilizing personal protective gear, including masks and gloves
- Quarantining infected residents and providing proper treatment
- Requiring staff to stay home if they are feeling sick
Failure to take reasonable measures to respond to and control an outbreak may constitute negligence. Often, infection rates in nursing homes spike because of a lack of an appropriate response to an outbreak, lack of proper training of staff, and limited resources. Ensuring these measures are followed is the duty of the nursing home’s administrator, and when they fail to follow proper procedures, the nursing home facility can become liable for injuries and infections.
Why File A Claim Against A Nursing Home For COVID-19 Injuries?
Nursing homes are expected to provide for the safety and health of all residents, and failure to do so can constitute abuse and neglect. This should never occur and filing a claim will not only compensate you or your loved one for damages, but it will also hold the nursing home accountable for its negligence.
COVID-19 infections in the elderly or immunocompromised are often fatal and those who do survive have shown a decrease in overall health, including organ damage. These injuries can be costly to an elderly resident, resulting in extensive hospital stays, surgeries, and medication. When a nursing home resident contracts COVID-19 through nursing home negligence, damages in a claim against the facility may include:
- Medical expenses, past and future, related to the disease
- Permanent adverse health effects of the virus
- Pain and suffering, including pain from any long-term damage caused by the infection
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental trauma
- Emotional distress
But nursing homes are resistant to hearing out claims and will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying injured parties what they are owed. Many have sought legislative action to protect from lawsuits, despite the fact that they should have prepared IPCPs well in advance to prevent infections and injuries. To ensure you receive a fair shot at compensation, you will need to contact an experienced and knowledgeable legal team that will advocate for you and your family.
Contacting A Compassionate Law Firm
We understand how scary these times are, especially for nursing home residents and their families. At the start of the outbreak, many were left with little information about how to respond to the disease and were worried about the safety of their loved ones. But now we have a better understanding of the coronavirus and how to prevent major outbreaks in nursing homes, so there should be no excuse for failing to implement an IPCP and properly responding to the disease.
If your elderly loved one has suffered from a COVID-19 infection through nursing home negligence, contact Pendergast Law. Our legal team has nearly 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured Seattle residents in negotiations and jury trials. Our Seattle nursing home abuse attorneys are aggressive advocates for residents and their families, so you should not hesitate to call us at 888-539-9211 to schedule a free consultation.