When Can You Sue For Nursing Home Negligence
If your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence, a lawsuit may be your best legal recourse.
When suing a nursing home for negligence, it’s useful to know the difference between the types of abuse that are common in nursing homes. You’ll also need to know which types of abuse are grounds for a nursing home negligence lawsuit. Keep in mind that a nursing home can be sued for negligence only after a legally qualified expert has reviewed the file and determined that the nursing home staff deviated from the recognized standard of care.
Grounds for a nursing home negligence lawsuit
There are many types of negligence and abuse that are grounds for a nursing home negligence lawsuit. The most common types are:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional and non-verbal abuse
- Regulatory non-compliance
Physical abuse in nursing homes
When most people think of nursing home abuse or neglect, they usually think of physical abuse. It is certainly the most widely known and recognized form of mistreatment. Physical abuse can take many forms but is generally defined as an act of force that causes harm, injury, or some kind of physical impairment of the victim.
Physical abuse is often the easiest to identify because of physical signs such as cuts, bruises, burns, and broken bones. Sexual abuse, on the other hand, is one type of physical abuse that often does not leave any identifiable injuries on the body of the victim.
Emotional and non-verbal abuse in nursing homes
Emotional and non-verbal abuse are no less damaging than physical abuse, but they are much harder to identify. Also known as elder psychological abuse, actions such as ridiculing, threatening, humiliating, or isolating a patient from others can have a devastating impact on the resident’s self-esteem and emotional health.
Neglect in nursing homes
While physical and elder psychological abuse result from intentional acts to harm the resident, neglect results from a failure to provide proper care. Common examples of neglect include failure to provide: food and water, medicine, basic hygiene practices, and companionship.
Regulatory non-compliance in nursing homes
Under the Nursing Home Reform Act passed by Congress in 1987, facilities that receive federal funding in the form of Medicaid or Medicare must adhere to a strict standard of care. If a nursing home fails to uphold these standards, they can lose their federal funding, be convicted of a federal crime, and be liable in a civil lawsuit.
Federal law requires that nursing homes:
- Provide the resident with an environment that is free from accident hazards; and
- Ensure that each resident is provided with adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
The Deuterman Law Group can help you determine if abuse or neglect has taken place, and we’ll work hard to help you identify the evidence that will support your lawsuit. Call us today. We’ll provide assistance that is compassionate and comprehensive, with the goal of obtaining justice and fair compensation for your loved one’s mistreatment.