It’s estimated that 1 in 10 elderly adults will experience abuse at a nursing home, with even more experiencing various forms of neglect, such as malnutrition and dehydration. Although nursing homes owe their residents a very strict “duty of care,” these facilities are not always properly staffed or equipped to provide that care for their residents – resulting in serious injuries for those entrusted to them.
With at least 1.3 million elderly people living in over 15,600 nursing homes nationwide, senior residents and their families must stay vigilant for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. When you’ve experienced abuse firsthand, however, it can be difficult to know what steps to take next.
If you or your loved one have experienced nursing home abuse, you could have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the facility and any specific staff members who failed to meet the duty of care. With the help of our attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, you may be able to seek the compensation you deserve after a nursing home abuse incident.
Proving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
According to the CDC, almost 70% of all nursing homes were run by for-profit organizations as of 2016, which means that a civil lawsuit may be your best possible option for seeking justice after nursing home abuse. Nursing home abuse lawsuits fall within the realm of personal injury law. In any personal injury case, you must be able to show that the victim suffered substantial injuries as a result of another party’s negligence.
Here are the main elements you will need to show in a nursing home abuse lawsuit:
- The facility owed you a duty of care. The plaintiff must be a patient or resident at the facility in question; otherwise, there is no duty of care. Immediate family members can also bring a lawsuit on behalf of their elderly loved ones if they are deceased or suffering from reduced cognitive abilities.
- The facility violated the duty of care. When someone violates the duty of care, it is called negligence. To win a nursing home abuse lawsuit, you must show that the facility or a specific staff member violated their duty to a resident, either by acting wrongfully or failing to take reasonable action. For example, nursing homes are obligated to keep their residents in clean and sanitary conditions.
- The resident suffered an injury as a result. Finally, you must have proof that the resident suffered an injury as a direct result of the facility’s failure to provide adequate care. If the nursing home does not maintain clean and sanitary conditions, for instance, your loved one may develop an infected bedsore and require hospitalization.
Common Grounds for a Lawsuit
Here are a few of the most common nursing home violations we see:
- Lack of appropriate medical treatment for injured residents
- Negligent supervision of residents
- Failure to maintain sanitary conditions, as defined under health and safety regulations
- Failure to keep the premises safe and hazard-free
- Negligent hiring practices, especially hiring abusive personnel
- Lack of personal care assistance
- Failure to properly feed and hydrate residents according to regulated standards
Because there are so many laws and regulations governing nursing homes, there are many ways that a nursing home or its staff may violate the duty of care. If your loved one suffered injuries because of a nursing home violation – and you have proof of those injuries – you could be eligible to bring a lawsuit against the facility and recover compensation. Our nursing home abuse team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you discuss whether you have a case, as well as perform an extensive investigation to support your claims.
Ready to speak with an attorney? Call (800) 462-7160 to schedule your free case consultation.