It’s a situation many of us face: a parent or grandparent lives in a retirement facility and experiences an accident. It makes you wonder: is it time to move to a more care-intensive situation? Should you sue the living complex? Do you remove your loved one from his or her community?
Unfortunately, daily life gets a bit more treacherous as we grow older: our bones become less strong, and we may be less agile and less strong, and therefore less able to prevent accidents like these. Of course, if there is negligence thrown into the mix, things get even more dangerous — but, as we’ll explore in a moment, the question of negligence is one for your loved one and his or her attorney to discuss.
Your loved one’s safety and health is, of course, the priority here. You and your your family may be concerned for good reason: slip-and-falls can be very dangerous for seniors. As your loved one recovers from this injury, you will be wise to be thinking about what to do to prevent future incidents.
Of course, the consequences of this recent incident will continue to be felt. Medical care is likely expensive, and your loved one has likely suffered from the accident. Does this mean he or she should sue? Personal injury lawsuits offer a path to financial relief to those who were wrongly injured, say the California personal injury attorneys at Avrek Law. If your loved one were to sue, he or she have to demonstrate that the injuries were suffered as a result of the accident and that the accident was, in turn, the result of negligence on the part of the party being sued. Whether or not the living complex ought to have installed safer bathroom fixtures will depend on factors like the terms of lease and the nature of the complex (for instance, whether or not it is a place for seniors specifically). You’ll need to get specific legal advice about this from a lawyer. We can explain the basics, but you should only ever get legal advice from a practicing attorney! We’d recommend speaking to your loved one first and then, if he or she wants to pursue a case, setting up a consultation with an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.
In the meantime, your are wise to think about the future. How can your loved one avoid accidents like this going forward? One option is to change the living situation, and it’s quite reasonable to be looking into that. But it’s also worth noting that your loved one does not necessarily have to move to get herself into a safer situation. It’s possible to renovate the current living space so that it better suits his or her needs. Your family could help by researching options, reading walk in tubs reviews, consulting with salespeople, and working with the apartment complex on the issue. The living complex may be willing to chip in or even pay for the entire installation — if it’s a popular and well-respected facility, the building owners and managers might see it as in their interest to invest in senior-friendly installations. (By the way, you may want to consider how a lawsuit might affect discussions of this sort — though here, too, a lawyer’s advice can be key.)
Your loved one is lucky to have family members that so clearly care for him or her. If you’re finding yourself in a scenario like this, it’s very understandable that you’re upset, but you should know that you and your family have options, and that things can get better for your loved one. We wish you all the best.