NURSING HOME NEGLIGENCE AND ABUSE
A nursing home, or its proprietor or owner, can be held liable for negligent acts or omissions in connection with the care of residents. In an action for injuries negligently inflicted on a resident of a nursing home by a home’s owner or operator, or its employees, the injured party must prove the traditional elements of negligence:
(1) The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
(2) The defendant breached or violated that duty;
(3) The plaintiff sustained injury; and
(4) There was a causal connection between the defendant’s conduct and the resulting injury.
In a wrongful death action, it is not necessary to prove that a decedent would have survived if not for the defendant’s negligence. It has been held that if a defendant accelerates a decedent’s death by even an hour, minutes, or seconds, it may be liable for such death, and if a defendant’s negligence caused the decedent additional pain and suffering, it could be liable to decedent’s estate.
Liability may arise because of negligent personal supervision and care, negligent maintenance of premises, or negligent selection or maintenance of equipment. For example, liability has been found where a nursing home resident was beaten by another resident with a history of aggressive behavior. In another situation, liability was held when a confused resident with a history of psychiatric disturbances wandered away from a nursing home that had been designed so that staff members in the nursing station could not observe the front door and know when the alarm system was turned off.
SIGNS OF NEGLECT AND ABUSE:
- • unusual or unexplained bruising or bleeding
- • burns and abrasions
- • sudden and unexplained change in weight
- • poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces
- • open wounds, bed sores or cuts
- • loss of hair
- • torn, stained, or bloody clothing or bedding
- • listlessness or unresponsiveness
- • infections
- • physical or emotional withdrawal
- • disappearance of personal effects
- • sudden and unusual financial transactions or problems
- • strange behaviors
- • staff will not leave the room during your visit
- • if you arrive at facility during normal hours and you are either denied access or access is delayed
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT ELDER NEGLECT OR ABUSE?
If you believe that a family member may be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney at The Goel Firm, P.C.
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