If you believe that an elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may wish to file a complaint against the facility with your state’s Department of Health or Ombudsman Program. However, while these organizations can investigate and penalize nursing homes where violations have occurred, it will be necessary for you to file a claim against the nursing home if you wish to recover compensation for the personal injury or wrongful death of a resident.
A nursing home abuse attorney can assist you by answering your questions and providing aggressive legal representation at all stages of this process. If the negligent nursing home is unwilling to make a fair settlement offer, we can take the case to trial in the effort to protect your best interests. If you have questions about how to sue a nursing home for neglect or abuse of residents, or if you are worried that a senior parent, relative, or spouse is being mistreated at his or her long-term care facility, call our law offices immediately for a free legal consultation.
Nursing Home Lawsuits and Settlements
One of the most common questions that people call to ask is, “Do I have a case against the nursing home where my loved one was injured?” The answer to this question depends on the situation.
You may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit, which is called having a “cause of action,” if certain facts or details are true about the incident or incidents which occurred at the nursing home. To recover compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you as the plaintiff will be required to prove that the facility was negligent in its administration of care.
Negligence is a complex legal concept comprised of several distinct elements, each of which must be demonstrated using evidence like medical records, injury photographs, eyewitness testimony, and other sources of information. You will need to show that:
- The nursing home had a duty of care to your loved one. All nursing homes have a duty of care to their residents, making this the most straightforward element of negligence.
- The nursing home breached its duty of care. This could involve any number of different violations. Some examples of nursing home violations that could constitute a breach of duty include the following:
- Allowing a resident to wander off the premises unsupervised, resulting in a pedestrian accident, assault, hypothermia, or other injuries.
- Failing to properly administer medication.
- Failing to properly care for a wound or infection.
- Allowing bed sores (pressure ulcers) to form
- Improper treatment of bed sores and pressure ulcer
- Hitting, punching, kicking, or otherwise injuring or abusing a resident
- Medication errors, including overmedicating residents or providing wrong medication
- Neglecting a resident’s dietary needs, leading to organ failure, starvation, or severe dehydration.
- The breach caused your loved one to suffer actual harm, such as an injury or financial loss.
The plaintiff’s responsibility for showing negligence is called the “burden of proof.” In a criminal case, the burden of proof is more demanding, requiring that the prosecutor show the defendant to be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, the threshold or standard of proof in a personal injury case is lower, requiring only a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means the plaintiff must show it is more likely than not that the alleged abuse or neglect in fact occurred.
If a nursing home was negligent in causing the death, injury, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation of your loved one, the victim may be awarded compensation by a jury. This may include financial compensation for:
- Financial Losses
- Emotional Distress
- Medical bills and anticipated future medical care
- Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and Disfigurement
It is possible that your case may settle if the nursing home is willing to admit liability and extend a reasonable settlement offer. However, if this does not occur, you will want an experienced trial attorney on your side who is prepared to try your case before a jury. Nursing home neglect attorney Brent Wieand begins preparing for trial at the very beginning of each case, so that he is prepared to present your case to a jury. Our goal is to obtain fair and just compensation for our clients, whether that means settling out of court or going to trial.
Nursing Home Negligence Attorney for Neglect and Abuse
Our nursing home abuse lawyers handle a wide array of personal injury claims in elder abuse cases involving nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes (group homes), and rehab centers for the elderly. We handle catastrophic injury claims and lawsuits involving bed sores, infections, pelvic fractures (broken hip injuries), scald and burn injuries, sexual abuse, financial abuse, fall-related injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head injuries, spinal cord injury (SCI) and other back injuries, and many other types of cases.
To start exploring your legal options in a free and confidential consultation with a nursing home neglect lawyer, contact us today.