The Home Health Aide Neglect Attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm
A home health aide has one job. Provide 1 to 1 care for your loved one in their home. If a private home care aide ignores, neglects or fails to supervise and assist your family member, this is considered home health aide negligence.
Neglect by a home health aide can be life threatening. Home health aide negligence can take many forms, as discussed below. However, sadly, the results are almost always catastrophic injury.
At Senior Justice Law Firm, elder abuse and neglect cases are all that we do. Let our years of experience in this niche practice area guide you on your journey to justice.
If your family member suffered serious injury or wrongful death due to the neglect or abuse of a home health aide, contact Senior Justice Law Firm today to speak with our compassionate and narrowly focused home health aide neglect attorneys.
Call us now for a free consultation: 1-888-375-9998
What Kinds of Home Health Aide Negligence Injuries Warrant a Lawsuit?
Our attorneys routinely handle home health aide negligence lawsuits involving:
- Broken Bones
- Pressure Sores
- Failure to Send to the Hospital
- Choking Deaths
- Unexplained Wrongful Death.
Below, our home health aide negligence attorney explains in detail each of these injuries.
Falls Under the Supervision of a Home Health Nurse
Undoubtedly, the most common injury that we sue home health aides for are falls. Falls are frequent in older adults, however, this does not excuse the fact your loved one suffered a fall while under the care of a private home health aide. In fact, falls in nursing homes are less preventable than falls under home health, due to staffing ratios. In a nursing home, one aide may be responsible for 8 high acuity patients. At home, the aide is solely responsible for keeping your mom safe and supervised.
When you hire a home care aide, he or she is supposed to be supervising your loved one and assisting them with activities of daily living. This includes walking, eating and going to the bathroom. This is the primary role of the home health aide, and precisely why they are there with your family member.
If your loved one was ignored, unsupervised and unassisted, then suffered a fall while under the care of a home health aide, contact our firm today so that we can obtain medical records and interview key witnesses. Almost all home health aide fall cases involve some degree of negligence, since the private duty nurse is there solely to help your parent. There is generally no excuse for allowing a client to fall while the aide was being paid to supervise, assist and monitor them.
Broken Bones from Home Health Nurse Abuse
Broken bones in the elderly are most commonly caused by falls. If no fall has been reported to you, there may be some unreported traumatic event that the home health aide is concealing.
If your loved one suffered a fracture while under home health care, ask them privately what happened. If they are non-verbal, make sure to get an outside doctor or hospital to examine them.
Look for other accompanying injuries that may suggest home health aide abuse, like bruising. Take photos of anything out of the ordinary.
As always, any suspected elder abuse or neglect should be reported to the appropriate agency immediately.
Pressure Sores from Home Health Aide Neglect
Pressure sores are wounds that develop on a patient’s buttocks and heels due to a failure to offload pressure. If your loved one is bedbound or wheelchair bound, it is the job of the private home health aide to get them up and off these pressure points. Failure to do this over a prolonged period of time will result in skin breakdown, blistering, and eventually, an open pressure wound.
Pressure sores are never acceptable, and if deep enough, absolutely warrant the involvement of a home health aide neglect attorney. If your loved one developed a Stage 3, Stage 4 or unstageable pressure ulcer while getting ‘care’ by private home care, contact our lawyers immediately.
Click here for a more thorough analysis on bedsore cases.
Failure to Call 911 and Send the Patient to the Hospital
When a private duty aide is caring for an elderly person in their home, they serve as their lifeline to medical care. It is the legal duty of a home health care aide to call 911 and get the patient to a hospital if they are in distress.
Our home health aide abuse attorneys have handled numerous cases where the home health aide ignored the patient’s health emergency, and as a result, the doctors missed critical hours in which they could have treated the victim.
This most commonly occurs in stroke cases. If an elderly client is showing increased signs of confusion, a sudden inability to communicate, loss of use to one side of the body, etc., that person likely had a stroke. Time is of the essence in these emergencies and a home health aide should call 911 immediately. By failing to get the patient to the hospital immediately, a home health aide is needlessly endangering the patient. The result can be irreversible damage or wrongful death.
Additionally, our attorneys have sued home health agencies for aides concealing fall injuries and failing to get medical treatment for injuries sustained by falls. This kind of wrongdoing adds insult to injury, since the delay in calling 911 stems from an attempted cover up of the original injury, which was caused by the negligence of the home health aide.
Many compromised older adults have swallowing issues. It is not unusual for these frail patients to require assistance with eating. Some even require a special choke-risk diet. Others can eat solid foods, but require supervision with eating to ensure they do not choke. As discussed above, a home health aide has only one client when they are on the clock. That is your parent. There is no valid excuse for leaving the patient during a meal and allowing them to choke to death.
Choking deaths under the supervision of a home health aide are unacceptable. If a private duty nurse leaves the victim unattended while eating and they choke on food, this almost always constitutes home health aide negligence.
Click here for a more thorough discussion on choking deaths and how to prevent them.
Unexplained Wrongful Death
If your loved one suspiciously died under the care of a home health aide, report the wrongful death to your local police department. Additionally, report the potential abuse or neglect to the appropriate state agency.
If your family member passed away and you are skeptical of the private aide’s explanation, take action immediately. Our home health aide negligence attorneys can assist you in reporting the wrongful death to the appropriate authorities.
Home Health Aide Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps involved in bringing a home health aide neglect lawsuit?
- Contact our home health aide neglect attorneys to begin investigating the case.
- Our law firm will gather your loved one’s home health agency records and documents, any EMS/ambulance records and the relevant hospital records.
- These records will be reviewed by an expert to opine not only as to liability, but also as to causation of your family member’s injuries.
- We will put the home health aide’s insurer on notice.
- We will file the home health aide neglect claim, if the case does not resolve in a pre-litigation settlement.*
- We will conduct discovery and subpoena witnesses, if the case does not resolve in a pre-discovery settlement.*
- We will try the case before a jury, if the case does not resolve in a pre-trial settlement.*
*your case can, and likely will, settle. However, it is unclear when your home health aide liability lawsuit will resolve. Therefore we have laid out all the steps in a private duty aide negligence lawsuit. However, the vast majority of these cases settle without going to trial.
Who is responsible for the home health aide’s negligence if they do not have insurance?
Some private home aides do carry their own insurance. However, most do not. Additionally, most do not have any assets, so the individual aide is largely not collectable if you get a judgment entered against them.
However, the home health agency is almost always responsible for their aide’s misconduct. This is true whether the aides are employees of the agency, or independent contractors.
How much does it cost to retain a home health aide negligence lawyer?
At Senior Justice Law Firm, our home health aide abuse attorneys work on contingency fee. This means you pay us nothing to prosecute your case. We only get paid if we win your case and you make a monetary recovery. Traditionally, our fees range from one third to forty percent of the gross recovery.
Can I get the home health aide fired for providing bad care?
In a civil case, this is not something we can guarantee. However, practically speaking, if the aide is exposed as having neglected the patient, in all likelihood the agency will terminate him or her.
What kind of evidence helps to make a home health aide abuse case strong?
Documentation is key in home health aide liability cases. Your family member will probably be unable to testify. The aide, however, can tell her side of the story. This means we need documentation to overcome whatever ‘spin’ is coming from the aide.
Photographs, 911 calls, incriminating text messages, apology voicemails and video surveillance footage are all critical pieces of evidence in proving home health aide neglect. If you have any of these items, please make sure you back them up. Unfortunately, these pieces of evidence can be deleted, lost or altered, so take a moment and save them now.
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Speak with our Home Health Aide Neglect Attorneys Today
More questions on a potential home health aide negligence lawsuit?
Speak with our home health aide abuse attorneys today, in a totally free case consultation. At Senior Justice Law Firm, our firm’s mission is to advocate for neglected seniors who have suffered abuse or negligence at the hands of reckless caretakers. This is all that we do, and we are here to help your family after a tragedy occurs due to a home health aide’s wrongdoing.
Begin the investigation into what really happened. Call our live-chat with our law firm today: 888-375-9998
Q. My mom had a private duty aide and still fell and broke her hip. Can I sue the aide for elder abuse?
A. Yes, you can sue a private home health aide for negligence if they neglected your loved one. This is true whether it occurred inside a facility (like an ALF) or at their private home. The problem you typically run into is finding insurance coverage for the negligent home health aide.
Q. I doubt the home health aide has her own insurance policy. Can I sue the home health agency for the negligence of the private aide?
A. Yes, you can, assuming the home health agency employed the aide, or, controlled the aide.
Proving legal employment of the private duty aide is easy. Establishing legal control is more challenging. The law provides for liability on the home health aide agency for the aide if the agency had the right to control the aide. Things we typically look for in home health aide agency liability claims are:
- Did the agency provide the aide to the family?
- Did the agency control the aide’s hours and days?
- Was the aide marketed through the agency?
- Did the aide wear an agency uniform or name badge?
- Did the agency accept payments from the family on behalf of the aide?
- Did/can the agency tell the aide what to do?
If the answer the any of the above is yes, then the agency likely controls the aide. This can impute liability for the aide’s negligence to the home health agency.
Q. What are common injuries in a home health aide negligence lawsuit?
A. We have handled cases against home health aides and agencies involving the following injuries:
- Falls and fractures
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers
- Physical abuse
- Neglect of the patient
- Failure to administer medication
- Failure to call doctors and/or 911 when the patient’s condition changes
If your loved one suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to neglect by a private duty aide, call Senior Justice Law Firm now at 1-888-375-9998 for a complimentary home health aide case consultation.