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Family matters. That’s why so many Americans take the time to really look into the best possible elder living situation for their parents. Finding an ideal situation or a perfectly suited nursing home can be the key to an enjoyable late-in-life experience for many elders.
However, sometimes the trust put in these kinds of establishments can be misplaced. There is such a thing as nursing home neglect. While many nursing homes across the country stand up to rigorous standards of quality, others fall below the mark in ways that might surprise you.
What seemed like an amazing home at first impression might reveal itself to be much less so. What can you do in this situation? Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to sue for nursing home neglect.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
What Actions or Behaviors Are Negligent?
There are many reasons you might take issue with the management at a nursing home, and not all of these reasons are worthy of a lawsuit. Even though you are likely justifiably upset about your loved one’s treatment, it is important to distinguish between what is poor service and what is actually criminal.
There are many different actions, accidents, and failures that might open up nursing home staff to legal liability. In almost all cases, a nursing home and staff would be expected to provide a reasonable level of care and comfort to your loved one.
But there are examples of where this level of care is not given.
An Unsafe Environment
It is a reasonable expectation to assume that a nursing home would provide a safe environment for its residents. This in and of itself can mean a variety of things. It means that the nursing home takes action to resolve potentially hazardous conditions, such as broken doors or stairs. It could mean taking proper steps to prevent slip and fall incidents.
It could even mean ensuring that residents who were deemed dangerous or unstable are kept away from other residents they might be a threat to. If a nursing home had prior knowledge that a resident may act against others, they have a duty to take responsible action in regards to that specific patient.
Any form of potential harm that the nursing home is fully aware of should be met with an action to help mitigate the risk of harm. Failure to take such action could be considered criminally negligent.
Poor Medical Care and Supervision
The staff and employees of a nursing home have a big responsibility when it comes to the residents. Employees who neglect or end up harming a resident as a result of their actions can find themselves in deep legal water.
In some cases, the employee themselves can be found to have acted negligently, or even criminally. In other cases, it may be that they were not trained properly, and it is the supervising staff that can be held accountable for mistakes that were made.
Staff at a nursing home have a very big responsibility. It is up to the nursing home to make sure they are hiring and training their staff properly. Otherwise, a lawsuit could easily be on the way.
The failure to provide medical practice up to the expected norms and standards could also land doctors or staff in a medical malpractice claim.
In addition to preventing harm from the physical aspects of a home, the staff also has a responsibility to keep things clean and help avoid illnesses from being spread.
Residents are expected to be able to enjoy a reasonable quality of life while living at the home. Failure to clean bathrooms or resident rooms would be a failure to provide this. Not only that, but poor sanitation can lead to further health problems with many residents.
Bacteria left in grime, dirt, and mess can infect residents and make current medical conditions worse. Many residents in nursing homes are already suffering from fragile immune systems, and a non-sanitary environment can challenge their systems quite easily.
Issues Regarding Liability
Unfortunately, proving nursing home liability is not an easy task when it comes to nursing home negligence cases.
When an injury or incident occurs in a nursing home or care center, it can be hard to trace things back to a cause. The generally poor health of senior citizens makes proving negligence and fault somewhat difficult.
Much evidence would need to be gathered in such a case. A plaintiff would need to be able to prove, with hard evidence, that a nursing home failed to provide a level of care to the standards outlined above. You can learn more here about fighting such a case.
If you or a loved one is thinking of pursuing such a case, it can be vital to have an experienced attorney on your side. An attorney with prior cases will know how to dig up the evidence needed to prove fault in your case.
Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuits
It can be devastating when the establishment you entrusted your loved ones with fails to properly care for them. To this day, nursing home neglect remains all too common. If you or a loved one is interested in bringing a lawsuit forward, the above information can be very helpful.
Need more legal advice? Check out our blog for more information.