My father ended up being injuring himself at the nursing home because he was not being supervised. Can I sue for negligence?

My uncle has Alzheimer’s and was placed in a nursing home, paid for by his Medicare, because he couldn’t take care of himself and we couldn’t watch him all the time. Several days after he arrived at the nursing home, he told the new nurse that was stationed at the desk that he was going out to walk the grounds of the nursing home. He’s not allowed out by himself because he wanders off, but the new nurse just let him go off without checking his chart or anything. Well, he wandered off, got lost and ended up getting hit by a car. Is this negligent that the new nurse let him wander off like that and what can we do about it?

Answers (1)

Federal law under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 sets stringent standards for nursing homes, especially those who participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare. Sine you mention your uncles nursing home care is paid for by Medicare, those stringent federal regulations likely apply in this case. Under 42 CFR 483.25, nursing homes are require to ensure that residents receive adequate supervision. The nurse’s failure to supervise your uncle may be a violation of this rule, which may indicate she was negligent in failing to ensure his safety by restricting him from wandering the grounds. You should speak with an attorney who specializes in elder care law to evaluate whether her behavior rises to the level of nursing home negligence and to discuss your options for recovering damages for your uncle’s injuries.

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