Can You Sue A Nursing Home for Negligence?
When the staff at a nursing home does not follow the standard of patient care, it can be considered nursing home neglect. When a nursing home resident suffers neglect, it can affect their physical and mental health and cause lasting pain and suffering.
California’s nursing home abuse law allows residents and their loved ones to recover compensation in abuse and neglect cases. If your elderly relative suffered neglect at the hands of nursing home staff, you may be able to sue the nursing home for negligence.
A nursing home neglect attorney from Berberian Ain LLP can assist you in pursuing a lawsuit to recover financial compensation and hold the negligent caretakers responsible for their actions.
What Are the Statistics of Nursing Facility Neglect?
There is widespread neglect in nursing homes around the world. Approximately 12% of staff members in nursing facilities acknowledged neglecting older residents in institutional settings. In California, 13% of Ombudsman complaints regarding long-term care involved gross neglect, exploitation, or abuse.
Forms of Nursing Facility Neglect
The National Center on Elder Abuse recognizes neglect as a form of elder abuse. Neglect includes failing to provide food, water, medicine, shelter, comfort, and hygiene practices to an elderly patient. Nursing home neglect can take the following forms:
Negligence in Medical Care
If a staff member fails to meet a resident’s medical needs, their inaction is considered negligent. For instance, a staff member is negligent if they fail to administer medication to residents on time according to their prescription instructions. They are also negligent if they do not address bedsores, wounds, and broken bones and leave them untreated. Medical neglect may also result from not calling 911 in an emergency.
Neglect of Basic Needs
Lack of access to nutrition and water and failing to keep the resident’s space clean are common forms of neglecting the resident’s daily needs. Food and water scarcity can result in infections, malnutrition, and dehydration. Inaction in providing for residents’ basic needs can also cause mental harm and leave the resident feeling scared, alone, and degraded.
Neglect of Personal Hygiene
A staff member who disregards a resident’s hygiene can negatively affect the appearance and health of the resident. They may fail to change adult diapers often or not bathe a resident properly, which can lead to illnesses and infections—1.5 million Americans in nursing facilities contract over two million infections yearly.
Taking Legal Action Against a Nursing Facility
With the guidance of a nursing home neglect lawyer, you may prove how the staff members’ lack of action and neglect resulted in your relative’s illness and infection. Your lawyer can review the details of your claim and create an official complaint to start your lawsuit. The complaint details the following information regarding your loved one’s case:
- A description of the harm your loved one experienced
- Overview of the type of neglect suffered
- Names of staff members involved in the neglect (caretakers, physicians, physical therapists)
The complaint may also name the nursing home management and the owner of the nursing facility. Once your lawyer has completed your complaint, they can seek a nursing home lawsuit on your behalf.
How Do You Determine When to Sue a Nursing Facility for Negligence?
The state of California treats nursing home abuse and neglect as negligence claims. You should file a nursing facility negligence lawsuit as soon as possible to ensure you meet California’s two-year statute of limitations from the date of the negligent act. The statute of limitations also applies to wrongful death claims, so you must act quickly if your loved one passes away due to neglect.
For injuries that were not discovered right away after the act of neglect, the statute of limitations extends for one year from the date you discovered the injury. To protect your loved one’s legal right to compensation, your attorney can file a claim on your behalf before the statute of limitations ends.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive in a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit?
A nursing home neglect suit allows residents and their families to receive compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and medical expenses. The total compensation in a nursing home neglect lawsuit depends on elements specific to your case, such as:
- Type of neglect conducted against your loved one
- Facility misconduct, such as a history of serious violations of neglect and abuse
- Severity of your loved one’s illness from the neglect
- Past and future costs of medical treatment and ongoing care
- Quality of life for your loved one before and after the injury
The nursing facility’s insurance coverage may also affect the settlement value. Residential facilities in California are required to carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance per incident and $3 million in annual coverage in cases of residents suffering injuries.
Since every case of nursing home neglect is unique, your attorney can evaluate your claim and enable you to receive fair compensation.
Let The Shirvanian Law Firm Bring a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit on Your Behalf
If you want to know, can you sue a nursing home for neglect; the nursing home neglect lawyers at The Shirvanian Law Firm can assess the damages done to your elderly relative when a nursing home or staff member is negligent. Our goal is to help you and your family achieve justice for the losses you’ve suffered. A nursing home neglect attorney from our law firm can review your legal options and determine the best way to proceed with your case.
To start a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one, schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys. Call today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Questions About Suing a Nursing Facility
Why should you sue a nursing facility?
Pursuing a nursing home abuse lawsuit is the first step to getting justice and fair compensation for your relative. When you sue a nursing home for neglect, you can achieve the following:
Coverage for medical treatment: Nursing facility residents can receive compensation for their past and future medical costs from a lawsuit.
Ensure the facility is held responsible: The purpose of a lawsuit is not only to hold the facility liable for its actions but also to begin the process of emotional and physical recovery for your loved one.
Provide residents with better quality of care: Litigation can force the facility to implement changes in their hiring and treatment practices to avoid similar injuries happening again.
What’s the first step in filing a nursing home neglect lawsuit?
To begin your lawsuit, you must contact a lawyer knowledgeable in nursing facility neglect cases. They can review your case in a free consultation. If they accept your case, they will put together a lawsuit to prove the neglect and help win your family compensation. The Shirvanian Law Firm doesn’t charge any upfront fees and only receives payment if you win a judgment.
How do you prove neglect in a nursing facility hurt my loved one?
It is helpful to document when you first noticed signs of nursing facility neglect so that you can file your lawsuit on time. Photographs of your loved one’s injuries and hidden camera footage of the staff’s neglect reveal the extent of the facility’s behavior toward its residents. Your attorney can use the evidence to build a case and connect the injuries to the neglect.
Who is eligible to file a lawsuit against the nursing facility?
Residents who experience neglect can sue the facility. Family members can file on the resident’s behalf if the resident cannot do so themselves. If a resident gives a power of attorney to an attorney or trusted associate, their representative can pursue a lawsuit on their behalf.
List of References:
Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act
Abuse of older people
National Center on Elder Abuse: Research Statistics and Data
Common infections in nursing homes: a review of current issues and challenges
California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1
Statute of Limitations
California Health and Safety Code 1569.605