North Dakota Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney

North Dakota Nursing Home Abuse AttorneyIn North Dakota, nursing home abuse is a serious problem that causes injury and death to thousands of elderly people every year. Injuries like bed sores can become serious health issues when they are not treated and can lead to infection in residents. Some residents are even so unfortunate as to die as a result of serious infections or illnesses like pneumonia.

According to information collected by Medicare, there are eighty nursing homes in North Dakota. The federal agency states that nineteen (24%) of these North Dakota facilities were found to have serious deficiencies that led to resident injury. These violations were noted in inspections, surveys and investigations into formally filed complaints. Was your loved one injured, abused, neglected or did they die unexpectedly through mistreatment while living at a North Dakota nursing home? If so, we encourage you to contact the North Dakota nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center today. Let us start your claim for financial compensation during a free case review to ensure your family receives the monetary recovery they deserve.

Statistics show that nursing home abuse impacts a significant portion of North Dakota nursing homes every year. In 2008, over 40 percent of nursing homes were discovered to have an unsafe atmosphere for residents. This may have meant that objects were left in the hallways, residents were unsupervised by staff or that staff were improperly trained for transitions. In addition, over 29 percent of nursing homes were discovered to have issues with food sanitation for residents. If you think that your loved one has suffered as a result of these deficiencies, then speak with a North Dakota nursing home lawyer about his or her rights today.

Nursing Home Injury Laws in North Dakota

In North Dakota, family members have a limited period of time to file a negligence or wrongful death claim. For a negligence claim, family members have a period of six years to file a claim. For a medical malpractice claim, the period of time is only two years. The period of time may be no more than six years if one has a reason for non-discovery, such as a physician prevented family members from discovering his or her conduct. Noneconomic damages for negligence claims are limited to $500,000, and punitive damages are capped at the greater of two times the compensatory damages or $250,000.

For wrongful death claims, there is a statute of limitations period of two years with discovery. This means that family members can only file a claim within the two years from the date of a loved one’s death that arises from neglect or abuse. The damages for a wrongful death claim are the same as those for a negligence claim.

In North Dakota, the Vulnerable Adult Protection Services Act governs any acts of abuse, neglect or exploitation that impact an adult. It is interesting to note that an “adult” under this Act also includes a minor who may be emancipated by marriage. “Abuse” is defined as the willful act or omission of a caregiver that results in the physical injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. If one files a report of abuse in North Dakota, then he or she is also granted immunity under the statute. There are penalties and civil liabilities for failing to report abuse or making a false report. One who makes a false report is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, and one who creates a false report is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

There is a program of protective services that exists for adults who have been subjected to abuse in a nursing home. The protective services vary depending on the county in North Dakota.

Filing a Report of Abuse for Your Loved One

When it is discovered that nursing home residents are the victims of neglect or abuse, witnesses must take immediate action. Whether one is a family member or a worker in the nursing home, there is still a legal duty to file a report of abuse. Reports of abuse and neglect may be filed with multiple agencies in North Dakota. The various agencies that oversee nursing homes in North Dakota include the North Dakota Department of Health, Adult Protective Services Division, Aging Services Division and Long Term Care Ombudsman. One can also contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman to receive nursing home information prior to enrolling an elderly adult in a care facility.

Consult with North Dakota Nursing Home Lawyers Today

If you are concerned about the well being of a loved one, then get in touch with North Dakota nursing home lawyers today. North Dakota nursing home lawyers are available to assist you in filing a legal claim and calculating the damages that your loved one may qualify to receive. Nursing home lawyers can also initiate a thorough investigation into your claim to determine who is liable for the abuse or neglect that your loved one has suffered. Our attorneys are available to help North Dakota families in areas such as:

  • Bismarck
  • Dickinson
  • Fargo
  • Grand Forks
  • Jamestown
  • Mandan
  • Minot
  • West Fargo
  • Williston

Do not wait any longer to get your loved one the help that he or she needs, and feel free to contact our lawyers for nursing home information.

North Dakota Nursing Home NegligenceNorth Dakota Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers

Even though bedsores are an ongoing problem in nursing homes, when the staff follows proven protocols, most sores can be prevented or heal completely in their early stage. In fact, a facility-acquired bedsore (pressure sore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) is usually a sign of neglect by the medical staff charged with the responsibility of providing each patient quality health care. Many families with loved ones who have developed a pressure sore in the nursing home will hire a North Dakota decubitus ulcer attorney to stop the negligence.

The demographics of North Dakota are changing with significantly more individuals reaching retirement age than ever before. This increase in the state’s aging population has put a significant demand on the need for more nursing home beds. As a result, nursing facility administrators are often challenged to find enough competent nurses and nurse’s aides trained to treat the elderly. Because of that, patients suffer from the lack of a trained workforce skilled in providing high quality care.

Nearly every nursing home patient lacks the capacity to perform daily activities on their own because they are recovering from surgery, are old or suffering severe medical problems. Many residents are challenged with mobility and unable to reposition their body or shift their weight without assistance, while lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair or chair. The medical staff is given the duty to ensure all mobility-challenged patients receive special care through:

  • Constant monitoring
  • Properly prescribed medications
  • Good nutrition and constant hydration
  • Routine “turning” of their body every two hours or less
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Acquiring a Bedsore During an Admission to a Medical Facility in North Dakota

Bedsores develop because the flow of blood is restricted to a specific body part, most commonly on bony areas like the back of the head, neck, shoulders, spine, hipbones, tailbone, elbows, ankles, toes and heels. The body’s pressure that touches a mattress, pad or chair can deprive the area of oxygen and nutrients unless it is alleviated in less than two hours. This is because with continuous pressure the tissue and skin can become permanently damaged or begin to die. In its early stage, a decubitus ulcer will form blisters or red spots that are easily detected on the surface of the skin.

Preventing a pressure sore is easy. Repositioning or turning the patient’s body every two hours or less is usually all that is required to alleviate the pressure. However, once the pressure ulcer has formed, it is essential to follow strict protocol to ensure it heels properly and completely. This requires proven steps including:

  • Alleviate all pressure on the affected area
  • Use effective wound dressings to cover the sore
  • Ensure that the patient is receiving proper hydration and nutrition
  • Closely monitor the skin 3 to 4 times every day to ensure the sore is not progressing to an advanced age

Without proper treatment, the damaged area can become significantly worse. Pressure ulcers in their advanced stages can be life threatening, where the wound opens, exposing bone and muscle. At this point, the patient’s life is in jeopardy if an infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) or blood (sepsis) develops. Many patients die from infection caused by decubitus ulcers.

Hiring a Lawyer for a ND Pressure Ulcer Case

Families who suspect their loved one has developed a decubitus ulcer while a patient in a nursing facility need to seek legal counsel to stop the negligence immediately. A North Dakota decubitus ulcer attorney can ensure the loved one receives the best medical care in the facility by skilled medical personnel that specialize in treating life-threatening bedsores. These professionals offer their services in cities throughout North Dakota including:

  • Fargo
  • Bismarck
  • Grand Forks
  • Minot
  • Mandan

Fill in the contact form here to schedule an appointment with a skilled attorney. No upfront fees are required because these law firms accept cases on contingency. Their services are paid from an out-of-court settlement or through a jury award at trial. The attorneys can provide a variety of legal options to stop the negligence and help the family obtain financial compensation for the pain and suffering their loved one has endured.

Nursing Home Negligence

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

  • 6 years. (N.D. Cent. Code §28-01-16)
  • Medical malpractice – 2 years with Discovery Rule, but no more than 6 years for reason of non-discovery unless discovery was prevented by defendant’s conduct. Continuous treatment rule applies. (N.D. Cent. Code §28-01-18)

DAMAGES CAP

  • Noneconomic damages are limited to $500,000. A jury may award unlimited economic damages, but any economic damages award over $250,000 must be reviewed by the court upon a party’s motion. (N.D. Cent. Code §32-03.2)
  • Punitive damages – capped at two times compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater. (N.D. Cent. Code §32-03.2-11)

Wrongful Death

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

DAMAGES CAP

  • Noneconomic damages are limited to $500,000. A jury may award unlimited economic damages, but any economic damages award over $250,000 must be reviewed by the court upon a party’s motion. (N.D. Cent. Code §32-03.2)
  • Punitive damages – capped at two times compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater. (N.D. Cent. Code §32-03.2-11)

State Resources

Nursing Home Care State Law
  • Vulnerable Adult Protection Services – (N.D. Cent. Code §50-25.2)

Related Articles Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Resources
Client Reviews
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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric