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When Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence?

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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July 20, 2024

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When a person becomes a nursing home resident, they have a contract with the facility. The contract is a legally binding document that ensures that the home provides the resident with adequate care. When they fail, it can result in illnesses, injuries, and even fatalities.

You can sue a nursing home for negligence when the facility breaches its duty of care. Nursing homes and staff members who are negligent can face civil or criminal penalties and fines. In addition, victims may be eligible for compensation to recover damages linked to the negligence.

Who Can Sue for Nursing Home Negligence?

If you or a loved one experienced damages due to improper care by a nursing home, you can sue for nursing home negligence. You should take legal action against a nursing home if you or a loved one:

  • Did not receive proper hygienic care
  • Experienced physical or emotional abuse
  • Sustained injuries because the staff ignored safety threats
  • Suffered illnesses or injuries because the staff failed to provide appropriate care
  • Fell, slipped, or tripped as a result of insufficient staff supervision

Proving Nursing Home Negligence

If you have a negligence claim, your nursing home abuse lawyer will need to prove four factors in order to get a settlement:

  • Legal duty of care: The nursing home had a duty of care to provide a safe, clean, and healthy environment for the resident.
  • Breached duty of care: The nursing home failed to provide reasonable care for the resident.
  • Causation: The nursing home’s breach of duty caused the resident’s injuries.
  • Damages: The resident’s injuries led to damages like pain and suffering, medical expenses, and emotional distress.

To prove negligence, partner with a qualified abuse attorney. Legal experts will obtain evidence to demonstrate how a breached duty of care led to you or your loved one’s injuries. Attorneys will determine who is liable, hold that party accountable, and fight for a fair settlement.

For a free legal consultation, call (212) 540-2981

How Nursing Home Administration Can Cause Abuse and Neglect

Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem in our society, and it can lead to injuries, illnesses, and wrongful death. These are some of the most common ways our nursing home neglect lawyers in New York have found that facilities can be responsible for abuse:

Negligent Hiring and Supervision

Nursing home facilities have specific protocols to enforce during the hiring process to ensure all staff can provide sufficient care to residents. Negligent hiring can occur when a home employs individuals who intentionally harm, abuse, or neglect their patients. 

In addition, a nursing home may also fail to train staff members properly. For example, suppose a nursing home does not provide employees with sufficient tools, procedures, and knowledge to care for residents. In this case, the facility can be held accountable for all injuries that occur on the premises.

Nursing home employees also have a duty of care to render adequate supervision to residents. If they breach the duty by not keeping a careful eye on their residents, they may be held liable for injuries.

Failure to Provide Proper Care

Nursing homes are liable for negligence if the nursing home’s actions or inactions were lower than the required standard of care. Nursing home negligence may stem from:

  • Medication errors
  • Equipment malfunction or failure
  • Failure to properly move and position the resident, resulting in bedsores
  • Staff errors
  • Failing to diagnose or address medical needs
  • Ignoring unsanitary conditions

If the staff fails to provide the type of care that a prudent or similarly skilled provider would, they may be held liable for a patient’s suffering, injuries, or death. An experienced attorney will determine the appropriate standard of care and if the staff adhered to it to identify negligence. 

Failure to Keep Premises Safe

As part of their duty of care, nursing homes are responsible for keeping their premises reasonably safe and free from hazards. Facility staff must prevent dangers that they are or should be aware of through reasonable diligence. 

Care facilities should have safety protocols in place to prevent outside dangers from threatening residents. Failure to provide adequate security can lead to:

  • Unauthorized visitors on the premises
  • Patients leaving the property unattended
  • Slip or trip and fall accidents
  • Physical, emotional, or mental abuse from other residents

Neglecting Basic Needs

Neglect occurs when staff fails to assist or provide residents with basic care. For example, a nursing home may not provide adequate food, water, or bathing assistance, which leads to physical or mental health problems. Examples of basic care neglect in nursing homes include:

  • Providing unsafe or inadequate amounts of food or water
  • Not changing a resident’s clothing
  • Failing to replace bedding or clean residents’ rooms regularly

How to Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence in New York

Since nursing homes accept Medicare, they are legally obligated to abide by 42 CFR § 483.25, which governs care provision. The regulations state the facility must maintain services to provide the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial care to all residents. When a facility breaks this rule, it creates the grounds for a lawsuit. 

Determine if You Have Evidence That Proves Neglect

How do you know if a nursing home violates a governing care provision? Common signs of nursing home neglect are:

  • New, lingering, or untreated medical conditions
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Noticeable personality changes or mood shifts
  • Unexplained injuries, like bruises, burns, sprains, and broken bones
  • Bedsores
  • Lack of personal hygiene

In addition to the signs of neglect, most lawsuits also require witness testimony. If a person of sound mind (such as a staff member, resident, or visitor) observes negligence, they can testify on your loved one’s behalf.

Hire an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer

When you sue a nursing home for negligence, it’s best to do so with an elder neglect lawyer by your side. Attorneys prove what type of negligence occurred, how the facility’s actions caused the injuries, and calculate the total damages your loved one is entitled to.

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Free Consultation With New York Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers 

You entrusted a nursing home to care for a loved one, but the facility’s negligence led to injuries. How can you sue a nursing home for negligence? Your loved one deserves justice, and the team at Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates is ready to fight for their rights.

A professional attorney can evaluate your legal claim, identify signs of neglect, and seek recovery for damages. Let a legal expert take the case off your hands so you can focus on caring for your loved one.  Call Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates at (212) 540-2981.

Call or text (212) 540-2981 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form

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