A disastrous nursing home fire has made headlines in recent weeks, as 22 seniors are missing and presumed dead after the blaze. The fire destroyed an elderly living community and has caused at least 10 confirmed deaths already.  Frigid temperatures have complicated the search for the missing seniors.

Denver Nursing Home Neglect & Importance of Disaster PlanningThe devastating fire underscores the importance of having a disaster plan in place. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are simply not prepared to react appropriately in emergencies.  The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revealed that most nursing homes are inadequately prepared for disaster and have failed to take steps recommended by experts to keep residents safe.

Nursing homes have an obligation to patients to ensure they are following recommended safety guidelines.  These homes are entrusted with the care of vulnerable seniors and can be held responsible for injuries that result from either abuse or neglect.  A personal injury lawyer in Denver can help victims or families who suspect a nursing home has failed to live up to its obligations, so call Bell & Pollock today to speak to a legal professional.

Nursing Homes Not Prepared for Disaster 

To assess the readiness of senior communities for disasters, data was reviewed from 2007 to 2010.  The data demonstrated that nursing homes failed to address several recommended issues that experts identified as essential to disaster preparedness including:

  • Establishing reliable transportation contracts.
  • Having a plan in place for ready collaboration with emergency management.
  • Prevention of resident health problems following a disaster.
  • Facilitating contact with long-term care ombudsmen both during and after the disaster so residents can get necessary support.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) has issued guidance checklists that facilities can consult to create an effective emergency-management plan. Completing the checklist items will address these and other lapses in safety procedures.

CMS also plans to revise federal regulations following the report on nursing home preparedness.  CMS will be including specific requirements for emergency plans and staff training, and will be updating the State Operations Manual to provide more detailed guidance on nursing home obligations.  Model policies and procedures are also being developed for long-term care ombudsmen to make it easier to provide essential support to patients.

The Colorado State legislature could also consider imposing specific requirements on senior homes to prepare for blizzards, fires and other emergencies that could affect senior care facilities within the state.  Just last year, Senate Bill 13-111 addressed the issue of reporting elder mistreatment in order to improve safety conditions for seniors. The new law was based on the recommendation of the Abuse Task Force, and intended to address the problem that Colorado was just one of only three states that did not mandate reporting of suspected elder mistreatment.

Since Colorado is actively taking steps to reduce risks for seniors, establishing state guidelines for emergency preparedness would be one more step in the right direction.  Nursing home residents and family members who suffer harm because of the negligence of a nursing home when it comes to disaster prep can also pursue a civil lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.

Contact Us

Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.

Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.

Free Legal E-Books

Click on any one of the e-books to access your free copy!

Case Results

WE KNOW HOW TO WIN

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000

Testimonials

CLIENTS APPRECIATE US

I could not have made a better decision than to call Bell & Pollock with my case. Dana Miller and her team were the best.
Brian B.
THEY WERE VERY PROFESSIONAL, KEPT ME INFORMED AND DID WHAT I WOULD CALL A SPECTACULAR JOB- THEY SEEM TO PREACH "LEGAL GAME PLAN" AND EVEN WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT- IT BASICALLY MEANS THEY HAVE STRATEGIES FOR YOU AND YOUR CASE AND I MEAN EVERYTHING WAS SOUND AND ANALYZED.
Jason H.
I appreciate brad and his team the bell and Pollock attorneys are by far the best ones i have ever worked with.
Aliviya D.
Brad Pollock is educated, experienced, and is the world's greatest attorney. Marlena Elsloo helps him focus in on the most important issues.
Kathy T.
He is very professional and we would recommend Mr. Bell to anyone who is looking for an attorney.
Dianna C.
He was kind, compassionate and knowledgeable, but also tenacious when working with the insurance companies.
Michelle K.
I was blessed to be put in contact with Dana, who not only provided me free feedback and counsel when we spoke on the phone, but also took the time to call me back on multiple occasions to check on me.Dana Miller, you are a sweet, caring and amazing person and I appreciate all your help.
Grady C.