New York Nursing Home Accident & Negligence Lawyer – Are Nursing Homes Liable for Choking?
If a loved one has sustained a serious injury or death due to choking in nursing home facility, a natural question will be whether the nursing home is liable.
Under the law, a person may be liable for the damages and injuries sustained by another person if that personhad a legal duty to the other person, and if they breached that duty. Since nursing homes generally have a duty to ensure the care and safety of residents, liability will often depend upon whether the resident had any medical conditions dictating dietary or food preparation restrictions. If such restrictions existed, it is then important to understand whether such restrictions were followed.
To Establish a Case of Liability for Choking, We Must Show How the Nursing Home Was Negligent
While many of us experience some form of choking during our lives, cases of choking are that result in legal negligence are different because there is usually a higher associated degree of care the needs to be followed. For example, in a nursing home setting, many residents are unable to chew and/or swallow certain types of “solid” food due to a medical condition, such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s. Cognitive impairment of the resident may be severe enough so that the resident does not understand these eating conditions; therefore, the resident does not know that solid food should be avoided. In these cases, it is entirely up to the nursing home staff to make sure that the resident is not fed, and does not attempt to eat, the types of food that are restricted.
A nursing home may be negligent if it knew (or should have known) that a resident may be at risk for choking, but failed to take proper and reasonable measures towards choking prevention. In many cases, these precautions are not taken. In some cases, the facility knew about dietary limitations and requirements, but for some reason the person administering food did not adhere to these limitations and requirements.
When staff fail to understand these restrictions and feed (or permit the resident to eat) food that they should not eat based upon their medical condition, the facility may be directly responsible for the injuries that are suffered.
Much of the damages from choking are foreseeable. If the Heimlich maneuver is applied, seniors can easily suffer broken bones and other internal injuries. If their brains are deprived of oxygen, brain damage or death can occur. Regardless of the outcome, choking is a truly terrifying and painful event.
Lawyers for Nursing Home Choking
When a nursing home or long-term care facility resident has suffered serious injury or death due to choking, it is important learn about the facts and circumstances that led to such event. As nursing home injury lawyers we represent clients throughout the state of New York, including Syracuse, Albany, and Rochester. Our job is to conduct a thorough investigation on behalf of our clients to determine whether negligence occurred. In cases of choking, we will usually want to consult with doctors or other professionals to understand the limitations that should be medically necessitated given the condition of a resident, and to see if these limitations were followed.
If we believe that negligence has occurred, we can advise you as to how we can seek damages on behalf of your or your loved one. We generally accept nursing home negligence cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no fee to us unless and until you recover compensation.