Can I Sue A Nursing Home for Negligence?
Yes, you can.
There are some guidelines that you need to follow when it comes to taking legal action against a nursing home.
Legal action against nursing homes can be taken once legally qualified experts have reviewed the case and determined that the nursing home has deviated from the recognized standard of care in the locality.
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, between 1 million and 2 million U.S. citizens aged 65 and older have suffered from some type of abuse at the hands of a caregiver.
Here are the grounds on which you can sue a nursing home for negligence
- Physical abuse
- Emotional and non-verbal abuse
- Regulatory non-compliance
- Economic Exploitation
What is nursing home abuse?
If the nursing home fails to keep the premises reasonably safe, and free of hazards then the patient party can sue the nursing home. This may include preventing slips, fall accidents, preventing one resident from attacking another, etc.
Hiring an irresponsible employee who ends up neglecting, abusing, or otherwise intentionally harming a patient can bring the nursing home under legal scrutiny.
Failing to keep the patient’s room or common area sanitized and clean can also cause legal issues to the nursing home.
These all fall under the nursing home abuse.
What is the regulation on the Standard of Care?
The nursing home that has accepted to provide Medicare must follow the federal regulation that regulates the standard of care.
42 CFR sec. 483.25 (h) is one of these regulations which states:
The nursing home facility must ensure that residents will remain free from any accidental hazards
All residents should receive adequate supervision and assistance to prevent any type of accident
How to report nursing home abuse?
It’s mentioned in the earlier points that unless a legally qualified expert reviews the case and determines that the nursing home has deviated from the standard recognized care, one should not take legal action.
Ensure the safety of your loved one
Do not hesitate to call 911 if you believe that your loved one is a victim of Abuse.
Before any legal action, it’s best to take your loved one out of the nursing home to prevent any further abuse.The legal action can stretch for months so it’s important to ensure the safety and protection of your loved one.
Notify the Nursing home about abuse
All nursing homes are bound to provide a standard grievance process as per federal regulation.
- You can notify the authorities through the grievance process personally or you can write them a letter.
- You should keep a copy of this letter for your records
File a complaint with the state agency
All US states have an Adult Protective Services (APS) agency.
- Typically, one needs to fill out a form to report the abuse.
- A caseworker will talk to you and begin an investigation of the facility after you file the report.
- This is only done once the caseworker receives consent from the patient.
File a complaint in the court
If you’re not happy with the proceedings, you may file a complaint in court with the help of your attorney.
Generally, a personal injury lawsuit is filed to compensate the damages to you or your loved one.
In some cases, your lawyer may advise you to file a medical malpractice claim. Particularly if the type of abuse is depriving your loved one of needed medication or medical treatment.
Once you’ve filed the complaint, the nursing home will offer you a settlement to resolve the claim process.
Your attorney will provide advice on whether he or she believes it would be in your best interest to accept, reject, or make a counter-offer.
If your case does not settle, it will head to trial and the court will schedule a trial date, you then must work with your attorney to develop a trial strategy and prepare.
At trial, the jury will decide the amount of compensation based on the evidence provided by both parties during the trial.
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