Many families entrust the safety and care of their elderly loved ones to nursing homes. When your loved one is at a nursing home or long-term care facility, you should be able to trust that they are receiving the care they deserve.
Unfortunately, many elderly individuals experience abuse and neglect every year in the United States. If someone you love has suffered because of neglect, you have options.
Make sure to speak with a knowledgeable legal professional to explore your rights and options. Can you sue for neglect when someone you love has been hurt? With the help of a skilled attorney, you may be able to.
It is important to find an experienced lawyer to help you pursue justice in your neglect case. Victims should not have to bear the burdens of neglect alone.
If one of your loved ones suffered because of elder neglect or abuse, reach out to the trusted team at Morgan & Morgan. Our legal experts have decades of experience successfully representing victims across the country.
We will review the circumstances of your case and help you answer the question, “Can you sue for neglect?” Our team believes that all victims deserve justice.
For that reason, our firm will happily provide you with a no-cost and no-obligation legal consultation. To arrange your initial meeting, fill out the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website.
Understanding Elder Neglect
Elder neglect is unfortunately all too common in the United States. Neglect happens when elderly individuals are not given the proper care and treatment that they need.
When a caretaker fails to meet a patient’s basic needs, neglect has occurred. Some of the basic needs that elderly people have include:
- Adequate food
- Essential medical treatments and care
According to some recent research, nearly 15% of nursing home abuse complaints cite neglect. Unlike instances of direct abuse, neglect can occur when caretakers fail to take the actions that they should.
Some people believe that you can only sue for directly abusive behavior. Many wonder, “Can you sue for neglect in a nursing home context?” The answer is yes.
Elder neglect can also lead to serious and catastrophic consequences for the victim. This is true even if the perpetrator does not cause direct harm.
In many cases, nursing home residents experience neglect when facilities are understaffed. Understaffing is a problem for many types of long-term care facilities.
Nursing home neglect can also occur when the staff is improperly or inadequately trained. Lack of training sometimes happens when a nursing home is attempting to save money or increase profits.
Lack of Adequate Staffing
When there are not enough employees to care for the number of residents in a facility, it is known as “understaffing.” This reduces the quality of care that the nursing home can provide to the elderly individuals living there.
Understaffing is a problem in a large number of nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the nation. According to a report from the year 2020, almost 20% of U.S. nursing homes faced a problem with understaffing.
One of the primary causes of understaffing is the high turnover of nursing home employees. Caregivers face many daily challenges and stresses, causing turnover rates to be high.
So can you sue for neglect if a nursing home is understaffed? Absolutely.
If nursing home owners do not take proper steps to hire qualified staff members, the quality of care that they can provide will decrease. This increases the potential for both abuse and neglect.
For instance, suppose that a nursing home hires individuals who have abused drugs or alcohol. Statistically speaking, these individuals may be more likely to abuse others.
Without conducting proper background checks, long-term care facilities may hire unreformed criminals or other dangerous individuals. Inadequate hiring practices are not only found in independently owned facilities.
Unfortunately, many large nursing home chains and corporations have engaged in these negligent practices. If you believe that your loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, be sure to speak with an accomplished legal specialist.
The team at Morgan & Morgan understands what it takes to effectively represent the interests of elder neglect victims. You and your family should take action to hold negligent individuals accountable for the harm that they cause.
Even if a facility enacts proper hiring practices, it is still important to provide extensive training to staff members. Failing to provide thorough training can leave residents open to neglectful practices.
For example, one nursing home in Wisconsin was forced to close after many allegations of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of residents. Reports of the situation claimed that staff members did not receive training on how to provide an acceptable level of care to elderly residents.
Some of the most common problems that result from inadequate training include:
- Lack of hygiene for residents
- Potentially dangerous medication errors
- Inadequate nutrition for residents
- And more
When poor training leads to harm for nursing home residents, victims have the legal right to pursue compensation for the damage that they suffer. When you are wondering, “Can you sue for neglect?” make sure to contact a knowledgeable nursing home attorney to file a legal claim.
Common Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are many different types of nursing home neglect. Any type of neglect may lead to long-term physical and psychological consequences for the victim.
When a facility fails to meet the basic needs of a resident, they should be held legally and financially responsible. Some of the most common instances of nursing home neglect include:
This type of neglect happens when the staff of a nursing home does not provide for the health care needs of their residents. Instances of medical neglect in a nursing home context include:
- Failing to administer proper medications on time
- Administering the wrong dosage of medication
- Lack of proper care for conditions including dementia or diabetes
- Failing to frequently move residents with mobility issues
- Failing to report developing illnesses or infections to care providers
- And more
Residents who have faced these issues have been able to secure justice, in some cases. For instance, one jury awarded a victim more than a million dollars in compensation after the elderly person suffered severe bed sores due to neglect.
If you or a loved one has experienced this type of neglect, you deserve compensation for the associated losses. The firm of Morgan & Morgan boasts attorneys with decades of experience in nursing home neglect cases.
Do not trust your neglect claim to just anyone. Reach out to America’s largest personal injury law firm – Morgan & Morgan.
Social and Emotional Neglect
Nursing home facilities are not only meant to provide for residents’ physical and medical needs. These facilities also have a duty to offer seniors opportunities for social interaction.
Regular social interactions are important for maintaining people’s mental health, mood, and well-being. If nursing home staff members prevent seniors from interacting with other residents, they may cause emotional and social neglect.
Social and emotional neglect can occur when nursing home staff members:
- Unintentionally isolate nursing home residents
- Fail to provide mobility assistance to residents who require it
- Forget to regularly engage with residents facing mobility issues
- Improperly deal with residents suffering from mental health problems
Even though this type of neglect does not result in physical trauma, victims still deserve justice.
Neglecting Basic Needs
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are charged with providing residents’ basic living needs. If a facility is not kept safe, accessible, and clean, neglect may result.
Some instances of neglecting basic needs include:
- Failing to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building
- Failing to clean residents’ rooms or common areas regularly
- Not providing adequate nutrition to residents–including food and water
When a facility fails to provide elderly individuals with their basic living needs, the consequences can be devastating. One older nursing home resident suffered a fatal case of dehydration in 2020, due to inadequate provision of water.
If you believe you have a viable nursing home neglect claim, contact our skilled legal team. The accomplished attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will assess the circumstances of your case and fight tirelessly for you.