Older adults who require professional care are moving into nursing homes to receive the help they need. Unfortunately, some of them suffer abuse or injury at the hands of the people who are supposed to take care of them. When this happens, a nursing home could be sued and held legally responsible.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit
Victims of a nursing home injury or case of abuse can pursue a claim for damages by filing a civil lawsuit. Once a petition or complaint is filed and the nursing home responds to the lawsuit, the parties enter a period called “discovery.” It is where witness deposition and document exchange take place. The court will eventually schedule the case for trial once they are unable to reach a resolution of the case.
The Behaviors That Lead to a Civil Lawsuit
Accidents, failures to act on preventable health problems, and other intentional acts that lead to damages can make a nursing home or other care facility held legally accountable. Here are some behaviors that can lead to a civil lawsuit:
Failure to Provide Necessary Medical Treatment
Nursing homes are responsible for allowing their residents to live as comfortably as possible and providing them with expert care. Failure to provide adequate medical treatment in line with the medical standard of care and causing harm to residents can lead to a civil lawsuit.
Failure to Comply with Health and Safety Regulations
Nursing homes are expected to be clean and sanitary, particularly in the resident rooms and common areas. This means the staff has to comply with health and safety policies. If they accept Medicare, they have to follow Federal Regulations, including 42 CFR sec. 483.25. When any injury or abuse occurred due to failure to follow these regulations, a nursing home can be held legally responsible for any damages suffered by the residents.
Safe and Health Hazards
Besides being kept clean and sanitary, nursing homes must create a safe living environment for their residents. The premises must be kept reasonably free of hazards. This includes preventing slip and fall accidents and stopping residents from physically assaulting each other.
Negligent Employee Hiring and Supervision
Employees have to be properly trained and supervised to give the residents exceptional care. When the staff neglects, abuses, or even intentionally harms residents, the nursing home can be held legally responsible.
Several residents can suffer falls and sustain serious injuries due to a nursing home’s negligence. For instance, despite the facility implementing several interventions, such as the use of a body alarm, installation of low beds, and therapy to assist in sitting in the wheelchair, it could still be ruled that the nursing home violated safety regulations and that it hadn’t done enough to ensure the residents’ safety. For example, if they leave the patients unwatched even for a short period, it can still be an invitation for them to fall.
When a resident gets injured at a nursing home, it can be challenging to know what exactly happened and determine who is legally responsible. This is especially true when that patient is living with dementia or dealing with other mental health conditions. In cases like these, the best first step is to reach out to a top civil rights attorney.
Team up with Zukerberg & Halperin, PLLC to get the justice you deserve. Our civil rights attorneys are guaranteed to put you first and provide you with the attention and help you need. Contact us for a free consultation!