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What You Need To Know Before Suing A Nursing Home For Negligence

Jun 12, 2022

Do you have a loved one in a nursing home and you are concerned about the care they are receiving?

Nursing home negligence is a very serious issue all over the world. In fact, data from WHO reveals that at least 2 in every 3 nursing home staff admitted to nursing home abuse within a year. 

In another report, more than 40% of nursing home residents complain of abuse while about 90% say they, or someone they know, experienced neglect in a nursing home facility. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or negligence, you may be able to sue the facility and get compensation.

Before taking any legal action, you should find out what is required of you and what to expect from the process. Here are some things you need to know before suing a nursing home for negligence:

What is Nursing Home Negligence?

Nursing home negligence is a type of medical malpractice. It occurs when a nursing home fails to provide adequate care for its residents, causing injury or harm. Nursing homes are legally required to meet certain standards of care for their residents. If they fail to meet these standards, they may be liable for negligence.

Negligence can also occur when a nursing home fails to provide its residents with basic rights such as the right to privacy and the right not to have their personal property damaged or stolen.

Types of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is a serious problem that can lead to serious injury or death. Even where there is no case of injury or death, as long as you suspect a case of neglect in the nursing home where your loved one is, it is important you take steps at once. Knowing the type of neglect your loved one is being subjected to will also help your lawsuit. 

The types of nursing home neglect include:

Personal hygiene neglect

Personal hygiene neglect occurs when a nursing home staff member fails to provide adequate care or supervision when it comes to bathing, dressing, grooming, and other personal hygiene tasks. This type of neglect may also include not providing assistance with using the bathroom or changing diapers as needed.

Emotional or social neglect

Emotional or social neglect occurs when a nursing home staff member refuses to interact with patients, isolates them from visitors or other people, or fails to respond appropriately when the patient is in distress. This type of neglect may result in depression, anxiety, and/or isolation for the patient.

Neglect of basic needs

Nursing homes are responsible for providing adequate food, water, and access to bathrooms at all times for their residents. It can also include denial of medical treatment or failure to meet other basic needs such as clothing and shelter from the elements (such as during inclement weather).

Signs of this type of nursing home neglect include bed sores, dehydration due to lack of fluids, malnutrition due to insufficient food intake, and urinary tract infections due to an inability to get to a bathroom on time.

Elder abandonment

Elder abandonment refers to leaving an elderly person alone in a facility without supervision for extended periods of time (sometimes even overnight). This can result in serious injuries such as falls, fractures, and dehydration when the staff fails to respond quickly enough when an emergency arises.

Medical neglect

This is one of the most common types of nursing home negligence cases filed against nursing homes across the country every year. It involves situations where nursing homes fail to provide adequate medical attention for their patients despite being aware that they are suffering from serious health conditions that require immediate attention (such as infections, lack of oxygen supply, etc).

Self-neglect

This type of nursing home abuse occurs when an elderly person is unable to properly care for himself or herself. A common example is forgetting to take medications or not eating enough food. This type of neglect also extends to hygiene issues such as not bathing or brushing teeth regularly. If you notice any signs of self-neglect, it’s important that you speak up and get help from family members and friends if necessary.

Abuse

Abuse may take many forms in a nursing home setting, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, shaking, and pinching among other things. Sexual abuse can include kissing, touching, and exposing oneself without consent. Emotional abuse involves treating patients in a demeaning manner, verbally harassing them, or isolating them from social contact with others.

As already pointed out, neglect and abuse in a nursing home setting can lead to life-threatening injuries and even death. However, with the right information and a reliable legal team, you can make the facility pay for its negligence.

How To Establish Malpractice In Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are places where people who are elderly or disabled can live in a safe, secure environment. The nursing home is responsible for meeting a general and medical duty of care. This means they must provide the residents with adequate food, water, and other basic needs. They must also ensure that the resident is safe from harm.

The nursing home has a duty to meet this standard of care regardless of whether you have paid for private care or received Medicaid assistance. If the nursing home does not meet this standard of care and your loved one suffers injuries or dies as a result, you may be able to file a malpractice lawsuit against them.

In order to establish malpractice in a nursing home, you must show that the nursing home was responsible for meeting a general and medical duty of care, they negligently or intentionally breached this duty, and their breach caused an injury to your family member, and those injuries resulted in financial losses.

If possible, contact an attorney before taking any step in filing a medical malpractice case. An attorney will be able to help guide you through all aspects of the process and make sure that everything goes smoothly so that you don’t lose any rights due to a lack of paperwork or missing deadlines. They can also advise you on whether or not pursuing legal action is in your best interests.

What Evidence Do You Need In A Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?

As the population ages, older adults are becoming more vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In fact, according to the world health organization (WHO), “the number of reported cases of elder abuse increased by about 84% during the covid-19 pandemic.” This shows how much nursing home abuse is a serious issue that’s becoming more and more common. 

If you suspect that your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, it’s important to know what evidence you need in order to file a claim for compensation.

The evidence required in a nursing home abuse lawsuit can vary from state to state, but the following is a general guideline for what you should have:

Documentation proving your relationship with the victim: In most states, you need to prove that you are related to the person who was abused. This can be done with birth certificates, marriage certificates, or other documents that prove a legal relationship between you and your family member.

Medical records: You will also need medical records from hospitals and clinics that document any injuries your loved one suffered as a result of abuse. These records should contain details about the time and place of treatment as well as what happened during each visit. These documents are important because they provide concrete proof that something happened to your loved one and link it to the nursing home where he or she was placed.

Personal accounts/ notes: Your own personal accounts of what happened in the nursing home are another form of evidence that can help win your case. If you wrote down notes about things like abusive behavior by nurses or doctors at the facility, your testimony can strengthen any claims against them by showing that they knew what they were doing when they hurt your loved one.

Photographic and video evidence: It’s important to collect photographic evidence of any injuries or other problems that happened while you were in the nursing home. If possible, take photos right away so that they will still be fresh in your mind when you decide to file a lawsuit. Do not wait more than 24 hours after an incident before taking photos of any injuries or other problems.

Also, where possible, take video footage of any injuries or other problems that happened while you were in the nursing home. Again, do not wait more than 24 hours after an incident to take video footage of any injuries or other problems.

Insurance claim documents: If you have insurance coverage through Medicaid or Medicare, it’s important to get hold of all the medical records related to your injury or illness. This might include hospital admission forms, emergency room reports, and discharge summaries. In addition, these documents will show how much money was spent on your care and treatment, which could help determine how much compensation should be awarded in damages.

What Is The Process Of Filing A Lawsuit Against Nursing Home Negligence?

The process of filing a lawsuit against nursing home negligence is not an easy one. It can be difficult and stressful to go through all of the steps, but it’s important to know that you are not alone in your struggle.

There are many people who have gone through this process before and who got compensation for their injury and loss. If you are thinking of suing a nursing home for negligence, these are the steps you should expect to go through:

Determining damages: Before you can file a case against someone else, you need to determine what damages have been caused by their actions or inaction. For example, if your loved one fell and broke his hip while living in a nursing home, you would need to determine how long he will be unable to work because of this injury. This will help establish an appropriate amount of money that should be paid as compensation for these damages.

Filing and serving a complaint: After determining how much your case is worth, you need to file a complaint with the court. Your nursing home abuse attorney will help you document includes all of the relevant information about your case, including the defendant’s name and address and details about what happened during the incident in question. 

Once this document has been filed with the court, it becomes public record and can be accessed by anyone who wants to see it. If there are any other parties involved in your case (such as doctors or nurses), then they will also be named as defendants in this document along with your nursing home.

Exchanging discovery: Discovery is the process by which each side in a lawsuit obtains evidence from the other side. Each side must exchange information about their case within certain timelines set by state law. This includes medical records, witness statements, and any other documents that might be relevant to your case. If one party does not comply with their discovery obligations, they may be sanctioned by the court.

Entering negotiations: Once discovery is completed, there is usually some time for negotiation between parties before heading to trial for a verdict or settlement agreement. This may involve mediation or arbitration if both parties agree to avoid going through a long trial process and want an alternative way to resolve their dispute amicably

Reaching a settlement or trial verdict: If you do not reach an agreement with the defendants before trial, then your case will go before a jury and be decided by their verdict. If they decide in your favor, then they will award damages based on their findings of liability.

What Can You Claim In A Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit?

It is important to know what you can claim in a nursing home negligence lawsuit. 

In many cases, nursing home neglect claims are brought under the legal theory of negligence. Nursing homes have a duty to provide care and services in a manner that is consistent with what would be expected by a reasonable person under the circumstances. If they fail to meet those standards, they may be found liable for any damage that results from their negligence.

In addition to negligence claims, nursing home patients can also bring claims for elder abuse, medical malpractice, and breach of contract. 

Elder abuse occurs when an elderly person is abused or neglected by someone who has a legal or financial relationship with them. This type of claim may include allegations of physical abuse or sexual assault as well as false imprisonment or other types of emotional distress caused by abuse.

Medical malpractice lawsuits allege that a doctor or other healthcare professional failed to meet the accepted standard of care while treating an elderly patient in the nursing home setting. 

A breach of contract claim alleges that the nursing home did not live up to its end of whatever agreement was made between it and you before entering into your stay there (for example, if you were promised certain amenities but did not receive them).

As a victim or the family member of someone who has suffered negligence in a nursing home, you may not know which of these categories your lawsuit should fall under. This is why at every point of your lawsuit journey, you should work with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who will give the best professional advice for your situation.

Who Can Sue For Negligence In Nursing Homes Cases?

The majority of nursing home lawsuits are filed by patients or their families. However, in some cases, health care providers who have treated patients at the nursing home can also sue for negligence. This is especially true if they believe that the nursing home was responsible for their patient’s injuries and they want compensation for the medical bills they have incurred.

How Long Do You Have To File A Lawsuit Against A Nursing Home?

In most states, you must file your nursing home lawsuit case within two years from the date of injury. In some states, this time limit can be extended if you have waited to file because of advice from your doctor or other professionals. To learn more about your state’s time limit, speak with an attorney who practices in your area.

If you’re interested in pursuing legal action against the nursing home where an accident happened, then it’s important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These cases can take months or years before they’re settled or go to trial, so it’s best not to wait until after the deadline for filing a claim has passed.

Conclusion

Nursing home abuse is a serious issue affecting thousands of elderly people annually. According to the NCVC, 21% of nursing homes complaint are related to negligence by caregivers or other residents in their facility.

If your loved one has been injured or died as a result of abuse while living in a nursing home facility, you may be able to receive compensation through a civil lawsuit against the facility.

Contacting a lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case and what steps should be taken next.

Research attorneys specializing in nursing home abuse cases by searching online directories. You can also ask friends and family for recommendations, check with local bar associations or ask your state’s attorney general office if there are any attorneys who specialize in this type of work.

The right attorney will also be able to advise you on how best to proceed with your claim and whether or not filing criminal charges against the accused party is necessary.

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