If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury or been the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home, your number one priority is safety. It is crucial that injury and abuse victims get the medical care that they need in these cases. However, when the dust settles, family members often wonder whether or not they can sue a nursing home for negligence. Here, we want to discuss the situations in which it may be possible to hold a nursing home accountable for actions that cause harm to their residents.
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing homes can be negligent in many ways. Typically, this will be defined by actions taken by nursing home staff or the nursing home facility that lead to inadequate resident care. In some cases, this inadequate care leads to significant injuries or illness. Sometimes, negligence leads to outright neglect and abuse of a nursing home resident.
Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence?
It may certainly be possible to hold nursing homes and their staff members accountable for negligent acts that cause injuries were illnesses to a patient. These cases will be handled through the civil court system, though there are times when the actions of nursing home staff members may rise to the criminal level. Any criminal cases will be handled by law enforcement and state prosecutors, and this will be separate from any civil litigation.
Some of the various examples of actions that may lead to a civil lawsuit include the following:
Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe and free from hazards. This includes dangers that the facility and staff had knowledge of, or should have had knowledge of, and failed to remedy.
Negligent hiring practices. If negligent employee hiring practices lead to a staff member who ends up neglecting or abusing a patient, the nursing home could be held liable.
Negligent resident supervision. It is crucial that nursing homes and their staff members properly supervise all residents, particularly those who are at high risk of falls or another type of harm.
Failure to maintain adequate health and safety policies. There are strict state and federal health and safety policies in place to ensure that a nursing home is clean and sanitary. This is particularly relevant now that we know that the COVID-19 pandemic can significantly affect nursing homes.
Failure to provide adequate medical treatment. All nursing home residents deserve to receive adequate medical care under the circumstances of their residency.
Resident neglect. When nursing homes fail to provide residents with their basic needs, including food, shelter, adequate medical care, exercise, bathing, and more, they could be held liable.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is vastly understudied in the United States. However, we do know that the National Council on Aging says that one out of every ten people over the age of 60 in this country experiences some form of elder abuse. As the nursing home population continues to rise with our aging population, it is crucial for family members to understand that they need to be aware of the condition of their loved ones. If you ever discover that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, seek assistance from a skilled Anaheim elder neglect attorney who can help you file a lawsuit against them for negligence. These cases can become complicated, but this is a crucial part of ensuring the safety and well-being of our aging population.