Age is often accompanied by debilitating and chronic conditions, some of which can make seniors unable to move, speak, or even eat without assistance. Because nursing homes are legally required to provide adequate care for all of their dependent and elderly residents, these facilities may be considered civilly liable when a senior suffers a serious choking injury during their stay.
At Brown & Barron, a significant part of our personal injury practice focuses on nursing home abuse and neglect, and we have over 137 years of combined legal experience in these difficult matters. We can review your nursing home choking injury claim and help you determine the best path forward to seek justice, whether you are advocating for yourself or for a deceased loved one.
Get in touch with a nursing home choking lawyer serving Baltimore, (410) 698-1717 for a free case evaluation.
Many people assume that choking is only a risk for children and infants, but it was actually the fourth-leading cause of unintentional death among adults in 2017, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). The risk only increases with age. The NSC found that over half of the choking-related deaths in 2015 happened to people over the age of 74.
Even without a degenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s or dementia, an elderly person may still have a difficult time chewing and swallowing their food or eating unsupervised. The most common causes of seniors’ choking incidents are:
- Chronic heartburn and digestive issues
- A senior not using their dentures when necessary
- Issues with a breathing tube
- Errors in administering medication
- Medication side effects
- Eating too quickly
- Eating food that wasn’t prepared sufficiently
- Lacking supervision during meals
- Dysphasia (trouble swallowing properly)
While nursing homes and long-term care facilities may not be responsible for all the instances of choking among seniors, there are many ways in which a nursing home or care facility can fail to protect a resident from preventable injury This can occur if the resident has a known medical issue, such as a history of stroke or chronic breathing problems, that tends to make someone more vulnerable to choking.
When Is a Nursing Home Liable for a Choking Incident?
Because nursing homes and care facilities are responsible for preparing residents’ meals, keeping them hydrated, and providing adequate supervision for their needs, a choking incident could be considered neglect when a home or facility staff member fails to perform their duties well or when a home or facility doesn’t follow the recommended protocol for a choking incident.
If a staff member or institution was negligent, they could be held liable for an incident. However, if a staff member was negligent, typically, the institution they work for is held liable since the institution is responsible for the actions of its staff.
A staff member or institution cannot be held liable unless its negligence can be proven, and proving negligence can be complicated. Proving negligence in your case may be especially complicated if the other party has a large insurance company or lawyers backing them. One of our firm’s attorneys can help you establish negligence in your case.
Choking Can Result in Long-Term Injuries or Death
Even if your loved one survives a choking incident, the results can be devastating and have a long-term impact on their health, safety, and happiness. Because choking causes asphyxia, which is a loss of oxygen to the brain, a senior may suffer brain damage and other consequences after choking in a nursing home.
Some additional injuries and other health issues associated with choking in seniors are:
- Non-traumatic brain injuries (NTBIs)
- Heart attacks or strokes
- Throat and esophageal injuries
What Damages Could I Recover in a Nursing Home Choking Case?
Since choking-related injuries can be so severe, a victim or a victim’s family can claim many damages. These damages can include:
- Bills for medical treatment after the incident
- Bills for new accommodations and care after the incident
- The costs involved with living with a lasting or permanent injury or disability
- Pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish
You may have lost a family member in a choking incident. In this case, you could claim wrongful death damages for yourself and your family and even on behalf of your deceased loved one. You could claim:
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Your children’s loss of support and guidance
- Lost family income
Reach Out to Us for a Baltimore Nursing Home Choking Attorney
When you work with Brown & Barron, one of our Baltimore nursing home choking lawyers will treat your or your loved one’s claim with the sensitivity and care it deserves. Regardless of whether you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit for a loved one or seeking justice for your own injuries, we will provide vigorous representation and fight for your right to fair compensation.
For a complimentary consultation and case review, contact our firm today.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a nursing home choking lawyer serving Baltimore.
A Lawyer From Our Firm Can Help You Recover Your Due Damages
If you believe you or a loved one should have help recovering compensation, consider hiring one of our firm’s attorneys. With an attorney, you won’t have to negotiate with the nursing home’s insurer or argue your case to a judge. You won’t have to communicate with anyone involved in your case at all.
Our attorneys have dedicated their professional lives to helping vulnerable people, like the elderly, represent themselves and recover compensation after serious incidents, like ones involving choking. We fight for fair, favorable settlements and verdicts for all our clients.
To help you recover your damages, your attorney will:
- Investigate the incident and determine who may be liable for it
- Gather evidence of the party’s liability
- Compile proof of your or your loved one’s damages, including medical bills
- Interview witnesses and/or experts for corroborating evidence for your case
- Communicate, negotiate, and argue your case for you
- Help you decide whether to file a claim or a lawsuit, then file it for you
- Fight on your behalf or on behalf of your loved one
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