What to do if my grandmother fell and broke her hip while at a nursing facility but it wasn’t reported to our family?

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What to do if my grandmother fell and broke her hip while at a nursing facility but it wasn’t reported to our family?

After bringing her home we noticed bruising in her hip area, at which time we took her to the hospital and they confirmed that her hip had been broken for at least a few weeks. Where do we stand legally with this situation?

Asked on April 11, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The nursing home could be sued for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable nursing home would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

When your grandmother completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your grandmother's medical bills and medical reports.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the nursing home for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the nursing home's insurance carrier.  Your grandmother's personal injury claim filed with the nursing home's insurance carrier should include her medical bills and medical reports.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your grandmother's injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If your grandmother or the person handling her affairs is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file your grandmother's lawsuit for negligence against the nursing home.  If the case is settled with the nursing home's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the nursing home's insurance carrier, your grandmother's lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your grandmother will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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