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What to do if your relative got COVID-19 in a Nursing Home

Of the institutions decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, none felt it worse than nursing homes. The deadly virus swept through these facilities, killing hundreds of vulnerable seniors and causing nursing home staff to work overtime. One of the first reported cases of Coronavirus was a nursing home resident in Washington state, and the virus quickly spread to nursing homes around the country.

These care facilities had all the ingredients for an outbreak—seniors with weakened immune systems, residents living in close quarters, and nursing staff serving multiple residents at once.

Since the first recorded US case in February 2020, nearly one-third of Coronavirus cases have been nursing home residents. The spread started at a facility in Kirkland, Washington, where 43 residents died as the virus swept decimated this small population.

According to the Kaiser Foundation, within two months, thousands of more residents would lose their lives to Coronavirus. While nursing home residents make up only eight percent of cases, they make up 45 percent of all deaths.

Nursing Home Administrators Were Slow to React

While the powers that be failed to declare the Coronavirus a pandemic and order lockdowns as quickly as other nations, nursing home administrators took even longer to take the measures that would stop the spread. They failed to restrict visitors, hire more staff and move residents to private rooms.

Many of the hardest-hit nursing homes had no infection prevention protocol, allowing the virus to kill residents before taking any preventative actions. The nursing homes that had low ratings prior to the pandemic suffered through the highest numbers of deaths, confounding an existing problem.

Some critics accuse for-profit nursing homes of laying off staff to save on costs, putting residents at risk. In some cases, the facilities hire entry-level staff and fill their facilities with nursing assistants, failing to hire the safest ratio of assistants to registered nurses.

Nursing Home Staff Have a Duty of Care

If your loved one was a nursing home resident and contracted the novel Coronavirus, you might be wondering what legal remedies are available to you. Nursing homes have a duty of care to make sure that their residents are safe and well-cared for as possible.

Each public facility is supposed to have plans in place to deal with outbreaks, natural disasters, and active shooters, for example. If a nursing home failed to protect and provide adequate care and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the facility, you might be entitled to compensation.

Some of the most common claims are that the facility failed to separate and socially distance patients in their rooms and common areas. Others include allowing staff to report to work despite showing symptoms, not providing adequate personal protective equipment to staff, and not adequately sanitizing or cleaning the facility.

What Will a Lawsuit Do?

A wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit will hold the facility accountable for the pain and suffering they caused your loved one and your family. Not only will the nursing home be held liable, so will their insurance company and the administration.

This will serve to force them to change their policies to prevent future deaths and injuries. In addition, it will compensate you for lost income, medical bills, and mental anguish.

We are a team of personal injury attorneys, and we will start a claim against the liable party in a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf (check out the link for more details). While Covid-19 struck without warning and many were unprepared to deal with the crisis, nursing homes are supposed to have procedures in place to deal with outbreaks.

If your loved one contracted Covid-19 because of a facility’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. Call us for a free consultation today.

About the Author:
As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. He aims to draw in the public and make people more interested in the field. He is active on multiple platforms to increase his outreach to the public. Leland tirelessly covers all types of legal issues, but he has a personal preference for medical malpractice. This is mainly because he witnessed the implications of medical malpractice on a family member.

Categories: NewsHealth