Injured In A Care Home – What Should I Do Next?
It's never easy deciding to put a loved one in a care home, but we are increasingly hearing about elderly people who are injured due to the home's negligence.
This Q&A guide will hopefully answer some of your queries regarding how to bring a personal injury claim
Q. My loved one was injured at their care home, what should I do?A.
The first thing you should do in a situation like this is complain to the care home itself
Each will have their own internal procedures so you can try to find the underlying cause of what actually happened. If you believe a health and safety breach occurred then you should contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who deals with such matters.
Back in September, a nursing home in Deeside were fined for breaching health and safety law when an 88 year old resident suffered 9% burns after being lowered into a scolding hot bath. She later died in hospital from her injuries. Had they followed safety regulations, the bath would have been checked properly and the incident would not have happened.
Alternatively, you can make a personal injury compensation claim if you think the matter is so severe it deserves legal attention and the care home is not giving you the answers you need.
Q. Who is to blame?A.
In situations like this, we know that the care home may be to blame
. You trusted them to care for your loved one and the have received an injury whilst in their care. Blame does not necessarily lead to an admission of liability as Misty Cawley, Personal Injury Solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP explains, "These are difficult cases in terms of establishing negligence on the part of a care home in circumstances where the injured party often had pre-existing mobility or health issues and the care homes resources are often stretched."
This is why it is so important for you to contact a solicitor and establish the facts to see where they could help. The elderly are vulnerable and have a right to be cared for in an environment that is safe and suitable for their needs.
Q. Will a claim help them to get proper medical treatment?A.
When you pursue a claim on behalf of your relative, it's not just about the monetary compensation
A claim can help to:
- Provide private medical treatment that may not be available on the NHS or is available but with a very long waiting list (providing it is related to the injury you are claiming for)
- Reclaim money for a loss of expenses.
This area of law can become very complex and may turn into a heavy legal battle if it becomes known that there is more than one person who has fallen victim to bad care in a care home. In this instance, we would look to make a group claim to try to benefit everyone
in that awful situation.
Your loved one deserves proper care in a place where accidents that are avoidable should not take place. If it does transpire that their care home was negligent
, action should be taken against them.