Factors That Can Lead To A Nursing Home Negligence Claim

If you senior have suffered injuries due to negligence in a nursing home resident, the chances are that you are have considered or are contemplating taking a legal action.

While this is possible, not everyone is aware of what may lead to a nursing home negligence claim. However, if you or your loved one is injured after an accident or has suffered abuse due to the misconduct of the staff, you should consult a nursing home negligence attorney for legal guidance. There is no cost to you as the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, with over 30 years of experience, will provide an initial, free consultation to determine if your case has merit.

Common Factors That Lead To Injuries In A Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility

Accidents and human abuse are more common in nursing homes than one would think. By some estimates, some 30% of nursing home residents are subject to some form of neglect or abuse during their residency. In the US alone there have been thousands of cases filed by relatives of victims and many more cases settled out of court.

Everyone deserves to be treated with care and respect, and that’s why families take their loved ones to such homes. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Statistics from Nursing Home Abuse Centre show that nearly 1 out of 10 seniors over 65 suffer from abuse each year.

Many reasons may qualify for a nursing home negligence claim. Some include:

  • Inadequate staffing, either in numbers or training:One of the leading causes of nursing home abuse is having untrained or undertrained staff. Under federal standards a skilled nursing facility is required to provide staff in adequate numbers and with the proper training to meet the needs of the residents.  42 C.F.R. 483.10 et seq.  When nursing homes are understaffed or staffed with people who lack proper training, residents are at much higher risk for falls, pressure wounds and other bad outcomes.
  • Lack of proper health and safety policies: All nursing homes are required to create policies to train and guide their staff.  If a nursing home is not clean, all kinds of infections are likely to spread. Examples of these include skin infections, respiratory infection, e coli, and influenza, among others. These infections can lead to sepsis and are associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
  • Failure to Properly Screen Employees –Most healthcare facilities are required to perform criminal background checks, but those checks can be limited and may not include reference checks at prior facilities.  The failure to properly screen staff can lead to increased incidence of physical, sexual or verbal abuse.
  • Negligence in supervision:Seniors with cognitive deficits require high levels of care and supervision.  Without the proper supervision and care planning, they are likely to fall. When this happens, they may injure themselves. The caregiver or staff is liable for seeing any foreseeable harm and should take reasonable steps to avoid such harm, including a detailed plan to address fall prevention.
  • Improper medical treatment:Often, seniors get sick and require medical intervention. Without the proper access to medical care, this may lead to more complications. Nursing homes should notify doctors of any significant change in condition of the resident, so that he/she can evaluate the need for additional medical treatment.

If you believe your loved one is being mistreated in a healthcare facility, you should take action to protect their rights.  First document the neglect and consider reporting it to the licensing authority overseeing the facility.  But before you go down that road, contact an experienced lawyer so you can evaluate the best way to proceed.

Talk To A Lawyer Soon

If your loved one has been abused emotionally, physically, or financially, you need to take legal action.   But this is not always obvious; you have to prove liability to determine who is liable. Such a process is always complicated and requires proper legal representation.

There are many types of nursing home abuse. Due to the technicality of legal matters concerning nursing home neglects and abuse of caregivers, it’s prudent to consider looking for an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer.  These claims require extensive evidence and pre-claim work-up. In addition, if the neglect of your loved one has stopped, it may not make sense to pursue a legal claim that could alienate the facility.

An experienced elder neglect attorney can help educate you on  your rights and options in securing the best care for your loved one.  Mr. Downey had both parents in nursing facilities and knows first hand how to walk the line between polite advocacy and aggressive litigation.

For  answers to more questions concerning nursing home negligence claims, you can contact the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey for a free, initial consultation.  Phone: 703-564-7318 or jdowney@jeffdowney.com