The elderly often require professional health care, especially if they are infirm or otherwise incapacitated. Nursing homes are the ideal solutions as healthcare professionals run them. Placing your elderly loved ones in the care of those who can meet their needs is in their best interest.
However, not all nursing homes take their “duty of care” seriously. Elderly abuse is unfortunately all too common in nursing homes because the patients don’t complain at once, if at all. An estimated five million Americans are victims of this type of abuse every year, many occurring in nursing homes. This raises the legal issue of nursing home negligence.
A Quick Overview on Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence is not usually a result of any deliberate cruelty or wish to harm patients. In most cases, it is the failure of the healthcare staff or management to provide the standard of care expected of a nursing home to their patients.In other words, nursing home negligence cases come up when the patient suffers some injury or harm because of that failure or neglect.
What Qualifies as Nursing Home Negligence?
Any action or inaction that results in physical or emotional harm to the patient qualifies as nursing home negligence. When the nursing home staff or management fails to meet patients’ basic needs such as food and water or medical attention, that qualifies as nursing home negligence. Elderly neglect can also result from the failure to protect patients from safety and health risks.
Acts of nursing home negligence include:
- Poor hygiene of patients
- Failure to follow dietary requirements of the patient
- Unsafe premises and facilities that can lead to falls, slips, and other injuries
- Inadequate supervision of patients
- Improperly trained or unqualified staff
- Failure to provide needed medical care or treatment
- Unsanitary living conditions
Compensation for Nursing Home Negligence
A nursing home is liable for the personal injury of their patients if you can prove that it is a result of negligence. The first thing you should do is report the neglect to the proper authorities.
The next step would be to get legal advice because you can get compensation for the injury suffered by your loved one. Compensation comes in two forms: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent the financial loss or expenses suffered by the injured party or plaintiff due to the neglect. This could be a loss of income from the injury or current and future medical costs. The basis for this type of compensation is purely monetary, so it is easy to compute.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify because the basis is on the pain and suffering of the plaintiff. The medical costs of treating bedsores of an elderly patient are verifiable, but the emotional cost of the pain the patient suffered is not. Refer to this article if you want to know how to compute pain and suffering.
Types of Negligence
|Malnutrition||Malnutrition in the elderly is the improper intake of food and nutrients that can lead to infections, weak muscles, low bone density, and death. Nursing homes must provide elderly patients with their dietary requirements regularly and in adequate amounts.|
|Dehydration||Dehydration happens when less fluid is coming in than is going out, preventing the body from carrying out normal functions. Chronic dehydration can lead to seizures from electrolyte imbalance and kidney and liver problems in the elderly. Caregivers must ensure the elderly always have a ready supply of water.|
|Abuse||Physical abuse is common with nursing home staff who do not have the proper training to safely carry, assist, support, or restrain an elderly patient. Nursing home administrators must ensure their team is qualified to care for the elderly to prevent physical injuries.|
If someone you love has been a victim of nursing home negligence, you need compensation for the damages the nursing home has caused. Contact Diamond & Diamond Law Miami today to get a free consultation.
“If someone you love is in a nursing home, checking up on them from time to time will help prevent nursing home negligence.”
Dealing with a Nursing Home Negligence Case
If you suspect nursing home negligence, the smartest thing to do is find a good lawyer in your state. Proving nursing home negligence is not easy. It requires the skill and knowledge of an experienced personal injury lawyer to prove negligence.
If the nursing home is in Florida, then your best bet is to consult with a personal injury law firm in that state. Look for a firm that has helped thousands of plaintiffs get millions of dollars in nursing home negligence settlements. The best nursing home negligence lawyers offer a free case evaluation and consultation without you having to commit to anything. Short on cash? Ask us about our contingency arrangements. Contact Diamond and Diamond Law Firm Miami today!