To WIN YOUR CASE, You Need to Know: What are THEY Thinking?

What is the attorney's strategy?

How does a physician avoid malpractice?

Can the insurer prevent a large payout?

Does the employer face worker issues?
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Current Issue: November 2015
Risks in Caring for Patients with Cognitive Impairments: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

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Alzheimer's or Dementia: Liability Risks

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, currently affecting more than five million Americans. Other forms of dementia affect millions more. Estimates suggest that the number of Americans afflicted by Alzheimer’s will double by 2050.


There is no cure for most forms of dementia. Caring for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease will cost an estimated $226 billion in 2015, and these costs are expected to increase to $1.1 trillion in 2050 unless an effective treatment can be found.


Injury prevention for those suffering from dementia impairments can be difficult, since the person’s cognitive deficits may impede preventative action. Preventing injury from falls and wandering is a significant concern as these injuries have been found to occur frequently.


Dementia impairments represent serious health problems that affect many patients and the health facilities providing care. The diagnosis, care, and treatment of dementia patients can give rise to litigation for patient injuries. Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to the litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that arise in connection with injuries related to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy


What proof is needed to prevail on a claim for an injury related to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?


How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to a patient’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician or other provider to employ?


Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the injury involving Alzheimer’s or dementia? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ? 


Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use? 

Practice the Technique: Checklists


Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence for patient injury involving Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.


Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence for patient injury involving Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.


The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of injury involving Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.


Use this checklist to determine if the hospital or health facility was vicariously liable for a health care employee’s negligence or malpractice for patient injury involving Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Expert Analysis

What Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Can and Can't Be Changed or Influenced?

Heather M. Snyder, PhD

What Can Be Done To Prevent the Financial Exploitation of Those With Alzheimer’s?

Kerry R. Peck, JD

Why Is Lewy Body Dementia the Most Misdiagnosed Form of Dementia? 

David J. Irwin, MD, MSTR

When Does a Person with Dementia Have Legal Capacity To Execute Documents?

Kim Boyer, JD


Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution. 

Reasons To Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.

Reasons To Go To Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.  

Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving dementia or Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, care, or treatment?

Medical Information

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

This section provides detailed medical information on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the terminology, risk factors, prevention, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and diagnosis challenges, treatment, fall and wandering injury prevention, and Alzheimer’s progression. The patient’s prognosis and ability to work are also discussed.

Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on alzheimer’s and dementia.

Medical Law Perspectives
Other Reports

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