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Practice Definitions - Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing Home Negligence
Older people frequently opt to move into nursing homes or long-term care facilities to ensure that they are well cared for, and will be protected from the effects of any deteriorating physical and/or mental conditions. Ordinarily, these facilities provide a positive environment and a beneficial experience for their patients. However, older people are sometimes actually physically and/or psychologically harmed by the negligent or intentional acts of their caregivers. In institutional settings, several factors have been shown to contribute to the abuse or neglect of residents, including: poorly qualified and inadequately trained staff; staff with a history of violence; inadequate numbers of staff; the isolation of residents; and, the reluctance of residents to report abuse out of embarrassment or fear.

Liability for Nursing Home Injuries

There are many ways in which nursing homes can be held responsible for injuring others as a result of their negligence, abuse, false imprisonment, or violations of criminal statutes, as well as violations of regulations pertaining to their licensing, maintenance, and general operation. An act of abuse, neglect or exploitation of an older person might give rise to one or all of the following types of proceeding: 1) an investigation and finding by an adult protective services agency; 2) a civil cause of action for damages (a lawsuit); and/or, 3) a criminal prosecution. These three types of proceedings have different objectives. The objective of a protective services investigation is to provide immediate help and relief to the victim and prevent further harm. The goal of a civil action (lawsuit) is to remedy damages, and the criminal prosecution is meant to punish the harmful conduct.

Civil Actions Against Nursing Homes

The liability of a nursing home owner or employees can result from:
  • Negligent personal supervision and care,
  • Negligent hiring and retention of employees,
  • Negligent maintenance of the premises, and
  • Negligent selection or maintenance of equipment.
If a nursing home fails to administer care in a professional and compassionate manner, and you or your loved one has suffered from inadequate care, you may be entitled to compensation.
Should I hire a lawyer?
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or abuse as a resident of a nursing home, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights to compensation are fully assessed and protected, especially in light of time limits for filing a lawsuit for nursing home injuries.

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