When you move your loved one into a nursing home, the hope is that they will be supervised and well-cared for. Unfortunately, negligence may occur, which could result in physical or emotional trauma for your relative. Not only is this negligence a personal injury case, but it's also considered medical malpractice since your loved one was supposed to be cared for. Here are some things to know about nursing home negligence and what you can do about it.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Before you rush into suing a nursing home for negligence, you should first know what exactly counts as negligent behavior. The following are the most common forms of negligence in a nursing home environment, and are things you should be aware of:
- Providing an unsafe environment. Nursing homes must always have a secure and safe environment for all their patients and residents. If your grandmother got injured after tripping over boxes left in the entryway, it could be considered grounds for a lawsuit.
- Physical abuse of the patients. Another cause of negligence is causing physical abuse to the patients. Neglectful abuse includes not providing them with clean clothes every day, refusing to feed them, or not cleaning them. This also includes direct physical abuse like gripping their arms too tightly or being too forceful.
- Not performing a background check. If an employee of the nursing home is found to cause abuse to a patient, your lawyer can look into their background. If they had a history of abuse or neglect from previous jobs and the nursing home still chose to hire them, this could be grounds for a lawsuit. It is considered neglectful hiring.
- Emotional abuse. Not all forms of abuse are physical. If your loved one was yelled at, talked down to, or insulted, they could be suffering from emotional trauma.
- Not providing supervision. Also be aware of neglectful behavior when your loved one is not getting the right amount of assistance or supervision, especially if it led to an injury.
Warning Sings to Look For
Your loved one might be too scared or embarrassed to mention the abuse, which is why it is important for you to look for signs during your visits. Pay close attention to their room, seeing if the room is clean and tidy, smells nice, and has clean linens. If your grandmother has smelly clothes and soiled linens, there might be some neglect happening. Look for physical signs of abuse, such as odd bruises, red marks, or welts. Behavioral changes might also be present, such as being more distant and quiet, nervous, or visibly shaken when someone from the nursing home walks in their room.
Suing for Neglect
The most difficult part of suing for neglect is getting the right documentation. You need to have sufficient proof to prove that neglect or abuse has occurred. When you notice signs of abuse, whether it is a bruise on your relative's arm, or soiled linens, take plenty of pictures. Write down detailed notes about what you have seen during the visits. Once you have gathered your evidence, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer, like McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., about the next steps.Share