The Basics of Nursing Home Neglect

by | Mar 1, 2016 | Attorneys

Some elderly people choose to move into a nursing home to ensure they’re cared for in the face of a deteriorating physical or mental condition. In most cases, nursing homes provide a beneficial patient experience but, in other instances, patients are harmed by intentional or negligent acts. Several factors are proven to contribute to Nursing Home Neglect, such as poorly trained and inadequate staff, resident isolation, and reluctance of residents to report instances of abuse.

Nursing Home Injury Liability

Nursing homes can be held liable for injuries occurring as a result of abuse, criminal violations, or negligence. They can also be held responsible for licensing and general operational violations. A neglectful, abusive, or exploitative act against an elderly patient can give rise to any of the following: an investigation by protective services, a civil case, or a criminal case.

Civil Cases Against Long-Term Care Homes

A nursing home employee’s or owner’s liability can result from negligence in personal care and supervision, negligent retention or hiring of workers, negligent premises maintenance, and poor upkeep or selection of equipment. The home can be held liable if the injured party’s lawyer can prove:

  • That the home breached their duty of care

  • That the person was injured due to the breach

  • That the behavior of a nursing home employee or owner caused the injury

While the elements of proof apply to claims brought by residents and visitors, the rest of this article focuses on issues in patient-filed negligence suits.

Considerations for the Defense

In a Nursing Home Neglect case, a nursing home can assert the same defenses used in most other negligence cases, such as contributory negligence and assumed risk. However, if a person voluntarily goes into a nursing home for protection from a medical condition, a contributory negligence defense may be disallowed.

Finding Legal Help

If a person or their loved one has been injured or abused in a nursing facility, they should consult The Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel as soon as possible. An attorney can ensure that a client’s rights to compensation are completely assessed and safeguarded even when the statute of limitations is considered.

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