Millions of elderly Americans reside in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities, which provide the necessary care and supervision many individuals need for their safety and wellbeing. Injuries can occur though, and it can be a challenge to know who is responsible when an accident occurs. Here are some things you should know if you’re considering filing an injury claim against a nursing home.
Is the Nursing Home Always Liable for Injuries?
Nursing homes owe their residents a strict duty of care, which means that the staff of a nursing home is held to a higher standard when it comes to providing protection and care to residents. Because residents rely on the staff for food, shelter, medical care, hygiene, and much more, it is critical that the staff not only meet their needs fully, but ensure that residents are as comfortable and secure as possible. From meeting special dietary needs, to administering medications to assisting with therapy and physical activities, nursing home staff members fulfill many roles. Because of this, there are many opportunities for accidents and injuries to occur.
Most instances of nursing home injuries for which the nursing home can be held liable fall into one of the following categories:
- Negligently trained staff
- Negligently hired staff, such as the failure to perform background checks
- Failure to properly monitor staff and enforce policies to protect residents
- Failure to provide adequate security measures and personnel
- Failure to meet the daily needs of residents, including nutrition, hydration, hygiene, and medical care
- Failure to protect residents from health and safety hazards, such as bacteria, mold, smoke, or other hazards, such as natural disasters.
- Using unreasonable or dangerous physical restraints
- Intentional abuse inflicted by staff members
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, you will need to demonstrate that the nursing home was negligent in some way, and this negligence led to your loved one’s injuries to file a claim against the nursing home. Your attorney can help you gather evidence to support these claims and help you hold the nursing home liable for the resulting damages.
Can Third Parties Be Liable for Nursing Home Injuries?
While it can be simple to assume that the nursing home is always liable for an injury that occurs on the premises, that isn’t always the reality. Third parties may be liable for injuries in specific cases, or they may be liable in conjunction with the nursing home staff.
Some situations in which a third party may be liable include:
- A medical device, product, or piece of equipment was defectively manufactured or did not include adequate safety warnings or directions.
- An outside contractor improperly maintained the equipment that caused injury.
- A piece of equipment or medical device was defectively designed and caused injury.
- Food supplied by outside vendors caused illness.
- Outside contractors responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the premises did not do so properly and residents became ill.
It is possible for more than one party to be liable for an injury, as well. For instance, if a resident suffers food poisoning, the nursing home may be liable for serving the food or accepting the food from the vendor, while the vendor may be liable for supplying the food. The cleaning contractor may even be held liable for not properly sanitizing the kitchen. This is why it can be exceedingly helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can help you identify all potential defendants and ensure that all legal avenues are pursued.
Get Legal Help Today
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered an injury or abuse while in the care of a nursing home, the time to act is now. Our experienced Denver personal injury attorneys are here to assist you and ensure that justice is won for your family. The Gilbert Law Group, P.C. offers award-winning advocacy and compassionate client service that focuses on meeting your best interests. Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more.
Contact our firm online, or by dialing (888) 711-5947.