The law places tremendous responsibilities on nursing homes, residential care facilities, and dementia care homes to provide a safe environment and adequate care. Failing to follow regulations, installing and enforcing effective policies, screening, and training employees, preventing injuries, or providing appropriate medical care could place liability on a nursing home or its employees. Any negligent actions that result in injuries or deaths may serve as grounds for a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit. Las Vegas injury lawyers help victims and their loved ones sort through their options for pursuing damages from responsible parties.
Legal Criteria for Nursing Home Negligence
Building a case against a nursing facility requires presenting verified evidence. It must satisfy the legal elements necessary to prove a nursing home claim. The burden of collecting this evidence falls on you, the plaintiff. Your case will need to illustrate that:
- A duty of care existed
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach caused the damages experienced by the victim
- Injury resulted directly from the breach of duty
Evidence Collection Challenges
Nursing homes are relatively insulated communities where vulnerable residents and staff frequently interact without outside observation. As a result, what happens behind closed doors can be hard for loved ones outside of the facility to ever know about.
A patient with severe medical problems, disabilities, or cognitive difficulties may be unable to tell outsiders about mistreatment, injuries, or neglect. On top of the difficulties that often prevent older adults from giving clear testimony, nursing home staff rarely document incidents in a way that acknowledges blame. Injuries typically require preparation of an incident report, but staff members tend to attribute injuries or emerging medical problems to patients’ preexisting conditions.
Part of the job of a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas is to overcome these challenges. A legal team at a personal injury firm can seek out medical records, interview witnesses, examine a nursing facility’s hiring practices, check licensing, and photograph injuries. Las Vegas injury lawyers can apply their experience with prior cases to uncovering the truths that nursing homes try to keep hidden.
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Abuse takes many forms. Victims may experience physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and in some cases financial exploitation. Neglect, however, does not always arise from any malicious desire to harm despite the consequences. Neglect can result in unsupervised older adults having accidents that injure them, inadequate nutrition, dehydration, or unaddressed medical problems.
The aging process often robs older adults of their mobility and makes them prone to falls. Although falls are a prevalent form of injury for this population, negligence exacerbates the threat. Nursing home staff shortages, facility procedures and policies, and medical records could supply evidence of negligence.
Medical care in a nursing home that does not meet accepted standards of care could be subject to medical malpractice claims, just like in any other care setting. Claims of medical negligence face high legal hurdles, and the advice of an injury lawyer Las Vegas will be needed to determine the viability of such a lawsuit.
Nursing homes often must grapple with chronic staff shortages. This situation leads to caregivers being left unsupervised with patients. Internal policies regarding security, frequency of resident checks, and records about staff levels may be good sources of evidence.
Physical or Sexual Assaults
At times, patients suffer at the hands of a staff member or other resident. The law obligates nursing homes to provide a safe environment and imposes liability upon facilities that fail to prevent attacks.
Who Is Liable?
The circumstances of each individual case determine which party or parties may be held liable for injury or death. At times, the facility is the responsible party due to operational failings. In other cases, a staff member may be the sole source of negligence. The responsibility might be shared by both the nursing home and a staff member.
Potential defendants in nursing home abuse cases:
- Nursing home
- Nurses and nursing assistants
- Physical therapists
- Managers or directors
- Third-party vendors
How to Seek Justice
The betrayal of trust stings victims of nursing home abuse deeply. If you fear that a loved one has been mistreated or died suspiciously at a nursing home, a consultation with a personal injury lawyer Las Vegas is appropriate. You should bring any witness statements and pictures of injuries to the meeting. A lawyer can investigate which regulations may have been violated and recommend a legal strategy. With sufficient evidence, the recovery of damages may be possible. Contact Moss Berg Injury Lawyers for compassionate support during an upsetting time.