If you or a loved one has suffered from injuries caused by malnutrition while residing in a nursing home, the law provides the right to seek compensation for pain, suffering and medical expenses. At the Lawrence Law Group, our Jacksonville nursing home neglect lawyers can closely examine the facts of your case and explain the legal options at your disposal. We have helped many individuals and families in Northeast Florida bring personal injury and wrongful death claims against nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.Pursuing Compensation for Malnutrition in a Nursing Home
Like other people, nursing home residents require food rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals to meet their bodies’ needs. If the diet that the nursing home provides fails to deliver proper nourishment, malnutrition may occur. Malnutrition refers to a lack of proper nutrition caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right foods, or being unable to properly benefit from the food due to various medical or dietary issues.
Malnutrition in the nursing home environment may lead to other serious injuries over time, and can lead to death if not quickly identified and addressed. Federal and state law require that a nursing home have a registered dietitian on staff who is responsible for establishing and monitoring each resident’s dietary needs and weight.
Dietary needs can change over time. For example, if a resident starts to develop a bedsore, also known as a decubitus ulcer, it is imperative that he or she be provided sufficient protein to allow the body to rebuild the damaged tissue. Otherwise, the bedsore will not heal and will likely become infected.
In addition to bedsores, improper nutrition in a nursing home can cause injury and death as a result of: insufficient calories; lethargy and confusion leading to falls; kidney failure; allergic reactions; choking; and infection.
Malnutrition can occur in a number of ways. The dietitian may not establish an appropriate diet from the start or may fail to amend the resident’s diet to match the resident’s changing needs. Another common failure occurs when a resident lacks the proper energy or motor skills to eat and drink. These residents require assistance with simply getting the food or liquid to their mouths. Certified nurse assistants are usually given this task and all too often simply leave a tray of food with the resident without providing the required assistance. Other residents may have a degree of dysphagia (difficulty with swallowing) and require a liquid or pureed diet.
If a nursing home failed to provide a resident with proper nutrition and the resident suffers injury, an action can be brought to recover for: pain and suffering; medical expenses; and lost wages. If the resident dies as a result of neglect, Florida law allows the resident’s spouse or children to recover for mental anguish in addition to medical and funeral expenses.Retain a Jacksonville Lawyer for a Nursing Home Neglect Claim
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, it is important to seek the help of a skilled Jacksonville nursing home neglect attorney who can investigate the details of your situation. We understand that each case is different, and we will tailor our strategy to your specific needs. The Lawrence Law Group is proud to represent victims of nursing home abuse or neglect throughout Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Baker, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette, Hamilton, Jefferson, Dixie, and Leon Counties. To discuss your case with a personal injury attorney, call us at 904-632-0077 or contact us online.