It's a difficult decision to put yourself or a loved one in a nursing home, but unfortunately sometimes it's necessary. However, just because someone has to be in a nursing home doesn't mean he or she has to live in a depressing or abusive environment. If you or someone you love does need to become a resident of a bad nursing home, it's important for you to know that you have options. FindLaw's Nursing Home Abuse section provides information and assistance for people who have suffered harm due to abuse or neglect by nursing home employees or facility owners and operators. In this section, you can find articles on how to pick a nursing home, the legal rights of nursing home residents, and frequently asked questions regarding nursing home abuse.
Liability of Nursing Homes
Older people often choose to move into a nursing home because they are no longer self-sufficient and they don't want to burden their families or their families either can't take care of them. Unfortunately, older people sometimes suffer physical or psychological harm at nursing homes because to the negligent or intentional acts of their caregivers. Some factors that can contribute to the abuse or negligent of the residents are hiring poorly qualified and inadequately trained staff, isolating the residents, not having enough staff members, and hiring staff members with a history of violence.
There are many ways in which a nursing home can be held responsible for injuring its residents. Some common claims against a nursing home can be negligence, abuse, or false imprisonment. Nursing homes can also be held liable for violating criminal statutes or regulations pertaining to their maintenance, licensing, and general operation. Abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident can result in an investigation by an adult protective services agency, a civil lawsuit, and/or a criminal prosecution.
Damages in a Civil Lawsuit
A person who decides to file a civil lawsuit against a nursing home needs to put forth evidence of suffering and/or losses as a result of the nursing home's conduct. Some damages that the plaintiff should include are: necessary and reasonable medical expenses, actual past expenses for medical care, current and future pain and suffering from physical injuries, mental suffering, and past and future impairment of the ability enjoy life. In cases where a plaintiff can show that the nursing home engaged in malicious or reckless conduct, he or she can sometimes be awarded punitive damages as well.
If a person dies as a result of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, there are also damages that can be recovered by survivors, heirs, or dependents. A resident's survivors can bring an action for mental anguish and grief, loss of relationship, and loss of parental advice and guidance. The damages that the survivor seeks can also include funeral and burial expenses.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or abuse as a resident of a nursing home, you may want to speak with an attorney to find out your legal options. It's important that you contact an attorney as soon as you discover the injury or abuse as there are time limits for filing a lawsuit for nursing home injuries.