Nursing Home Abuse Information
Establishing Liability in a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
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Nursing Home Abuse Information
If you suspect that a loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home, it can be scary. Nursing homes are supposed to be havens where aging family members receive the care they need. When you have reason to believe neglect or abuse is occurring, you rightfully want to take action. However, for your actions to be effective, you’ll need more than just suspicions.
While you may have contacted Adult Protective Services (APS) about your concerns, you may also want to get in touch with a nursing home lawyer at Morgan & Morgan about a civil lawsuit. Our goal is not only to recover compensation for nursing home residents who have been abused but also to deter other facilities from engaging in similar conduct.
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Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
Nursing home abuse takes many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial. Neglect is not the same as abuse, but it can also result in harm to a senior at the hands of a caregiver.
A civil lawsuit by the resident and/or their family against the nursing home typically alleges abuse or neglect. Definitions of abuse and neglect vary from state to state. In Florida, abuse and neglect are defined in the following ways:
- Nursing home abuse: “Any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s physical, mental, or emotional health.”
- Nursing home neglect: “the failure or omission on the part of the caregiver… to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of the vulnerable adult, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services…”
Regardless of the specific allegation against the nursing home, gathering evidence early on can make or break your case. Learn to spot the signs of abuse and neglect, and if something doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to contact a Morgan & Morgan lawyer so they can help you take the next steps, such as reporting the case to the proper authorities and documenting important information.
Proving a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
A nursing home lawsuit can provide compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages. To win this type of lawsuit, you must prove that:
- The nursing home owed the resident a duty of care;
- The nursing home failed to uphold that duty of care; and
- The resident suffered harm due to the nursing home’s lack of care
A nursing home may have to follow federal regulations if it accepts Medicare. The Code of Federal Regulations sets forth very specific quality of care standards for nursing homes. The federal Nursing Home Reform Act defines minimum standards of care as well. And the nursing home’s contract with the resident may contain specific promises about the care that will be provided.
While there is never an excuse for abuse or neglect, there is often an underlying cause that can be used to impose liability on the nursing home. These causes include:
- Negligent hiring
- Negligent supervision
- Failure to provide a safe environment
- Negligent maintenance of equipment
- Inadequate training
- Medical malpractice, such as medication errors or physician/staff errors
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at Morgan & Morgan
Caring for the most vulnerable among us is a fundamental obligation of our society. It can be difficult to learn that a nursing home violated the trust you placed in them. It can be equally difficult to prove that wrongdoing occurred.
If you suspect someone close to you is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, Morgan & Morgan can help. There may be a limited time in your state to file a nursing home abuse case, so do not hesitate. Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation case review.