Can you sue a nursing home for abuse or neglect?
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
The short answer is yes; you can hold a nursing home responsible if your loved one was abused or neglected while in its care. Nursing homes were created to fill the gap between the care that elderly parents require and the care that working children can provide. The gap is especially wide when you are dealing with an only child. These facilities should operate as another home for your parents but, like with any installation, errors can occur. Hopefully, these mistakes are not severe or fatal but if they are, how do you hold the nursing home accountable?
Nursing homes are liable to three general types of liability. First, they could be sued by private parties in court. Second, nursing homes can be subjected to criminal prosecution. Finally, they can be submitted to an investigation by adult protective services. If your loved one is neglected or abused, you could initiate any or all of these investigations. But, if you want to recover funds for your loved one's injuries, perhaps to pay for the cost of another nursing home ? then you will need to file a lawsuit.
There are four causes of action:
- Negligent selection or maintenance of equipment.
- Negligent hiring and retention of employees.
- Negligent maintenance of premises.
- Negligent personal supervision and care.
As you can see, all of these causes of action relate either to maintaining equipment / the premises or supervising the nursing staff. It is possible that a nursing home could be liable under all four of these various causes.
Nursing home abuse numbers are only going to rise as the importance of nursing homes increase. As always, the best protection for your loved one is you. Don't forget to check regularly up on the nursing home and your loved one. If your loved one was injured, either due to neglect or abuse, then you may want to speak to an attorney. A lawyer can go over these various causes of actions to determine which, if any, can help your loved one.