When Can a Nursing Home Be Liable for Abuse or Neglect?

Can a Nursing Home Itself Be Held Liable for Abuse?

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on August 29, 2018 in Nursing Home Abuse

empty bed in nursing facilitySome nursing home abuse cases claim staff members were negligent or malicious toward the victim. However, some cases also claim the nursing home itself was negligent and this resulted in abuse or neglect. If your loved one was harmed due to nursing home abuse, you may be able to pursue a claim against the nursing home itself.

Our Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers can discuss the legal options available to you and your family during a free initial consultation. We can explore all options for pursuing compensation against the parties responsible for your loved one’s injuries.

Reasons a Nursing Home Could Be Liable

A nursing home owes a high degree of care to its patients. If a patient is injured while in the care of the nursing home, the company that runs the nursing home may be held legally responsible for the injuries. Some common reasons why a nursing home may be liable for injuries include:

  • Negligent hiring – A nursing home may fail to conduct an adequate background check on applicants and may hire a person who has a history of abuse.
  • Improper training – A nursing home may be sued if it fails to properly train staff on how to care for residents.
  • Understaffing – Nursing home jobs are often difficult and low-paying, making it difficult to retain an adequate number of employees. A nursing home may be liable for injuries when patients are harmed because there are not enough employees to tend to residents’ needs.
  • Negligent retention – A nursing home could be held legally liable if it fails to monitor the actions of its staff members or fails to discipline staff who act improperly.
  • Inadequate security – A nursing home could potentially be held liable for the actions of third parties if the facility was negligent and this allowed a third party to act recklessly and harm residents. For example, facilities could potentially be held liable for failing to provide adequate security to patients.
  • Improper use of medication – Nursing homes can be held liable if medication is improperly administered or psychotropic drugs or physical restraints are used to control residents.

Proving Negligence

In order to receive compensation for damages your loved one suffered, you must be able to establish that the nursing home was negligent. There are four elements to a negligence claim:

  1. Duty of care – You must be able to show that the nursing home owed a duty of care to the victim. This can be shown through the accepted medical practices for local nursing homes or the contract that specified the nursing home’s legal duties to the victim.
  2. Breach of duty of care – You must be able to prove that the nursing home abuse resulted from a breach of the duty of care the nursing home owed the victim.
  3. Causation – There must be a link between the nursing home’s conduct and the victim’s injuries. For example, understaffing or failing to check a worker’s background may have played a role in the victim’s injuries.
  4. Damages – You must be able to show that the victim suffered some harm, such as needing medical treatment for his or her injuries.

Third-Party Liability

In some situations, a separate third party may share or be fully to blame for a nursing home patient’s injuries. For example, a patient may have been injured by a defective medical device or medical equipment. An outside doctor not employed by the nursing home may have prescribed the wrong medication or taken other action that adversely affected the patient.

Visitors, volunteers, vendors or trespassers may have abused or injured the patient. In these situations, the nursing home may bear some responsibility, such as for failing to provide adequate security. However, a third party may also be legally liable for the injuries.

Contact a Lawyer

If you believe your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you may have a valid claim against the nursing home. One of our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers can discuss a possible case with you during a free initial consultation. We will fight to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call us at 877-877-2228

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