When nursing home neglect causes injuries, family members can file a personal injury negligence lawsuit in civil court to recover damages for a variety of expenses.
Filing a Nursing Home Lawsuit
Nursing home neglect is a type of elder abuse caused by substandard resident care. It affects up to 40% of residents in U.S. nursing homes and long-term care facilities. While signs of physical abuse are usually apparent, many victims of neglect suffer in silence while their injuries go unnoticed, especially without regular visits from family members and friends.
Nursing home neglect takes many forms, but the most common ones are caused by nursing home staff and caregivers assigned to resident care:
- Medical Neglect – Occurs when a resident’s medical conditions are ignored or omitted. Lack of insulin results in a diabetic coma; immobility results in skin infections and bedsores; and omitted medications result in heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory distress.
- Neglect of Basic Needs – Occurs when a resident’s basic needs for food, water, and a safe environment are not provided. When deprived of basic needs, nursing home lawyers see increased cases of malnutrition, dehydration, and fractured or broken bones from falls.
- Neglect of Personal Hygiene – Occurs when a resident’s help with personal hygiene is ignored by nurses and caregivers. Elderly residents often require assistance with bathing, toileting, dental care, personal grooming, and laundry.
- Emotional and Social Neglect – Occurs when a resident is left alone or isolated from other residents and outside visitors. Prolonged isolation from others often results in serious depression, anxiety, and suicidal or aggressive behaviors.
If nursing home neglect is suspected, family members should report it immediately to local law enforcement, Adult Protective Services (APS), or a Long-Term Ombudsman. The resident should also be removed from the facility as soon as possible to prevent further actions of neglect.
Watching for signs of neglect, reporting suspected mistreatment, removing the victim from the facility, and filing a lawsuit with a nursing home lawyer can prevent physical injuries, emotional trauma, and in some cases, the preventable death of a loved one.
Nursing home lawsuits can be filed against nursing home facilities, staff members, and caretakers who cause harm against a resident. Taking legal actions through a lawsuit or a settlement agreement can provide compensation for medical bills, physical rehabilitation, mental health counseling, reimbursement of nursing home expenses, and expenses for resident relocation.