Older people frequently opt to move into nursing homes or long-term care facilities to ensure that they are well cared for in the event that they experience deteriorating physical or mental conditions. These facilities normally provide a positive environment for their patients. However, older people are sometimes harmed by the negligent or intentional acts of their caregivers.
If you or someone you know was abused at a nursing home, it is critical to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Below are some of the claims you can raise in your lawsuit.
Claims Against Nursing Homes
A nursing home owner or employees can be liable due to:
- Negligent personal supervision and care,
- Negligent hiring and retention of employees,
- Negligent maintenance of the premises, and
- Negligent selection or maintenance of equipment.
A nursing home can be held liable for negligence if the injured party can prove: 1) that the nursing home’s owner or employees breached a duty of care owed to the injured person; 2) that the person’s injury was caused by this breach; and, 3) that the nursing home owner’s or employee’s conduct caused the injury.
Negligence: Issues That Can Arise With Your Claim
- Proving Duty and Breach of Duty: A plaintiff suing a nursing home may need to offer expert medical testimony about what is or is not a proper practice, treatment or procedure in a given situation, unless the lack of care or skill by the nursing home is so apparent that the average person would comprehend it based on his or her common knowledge and experience.
- Statutory Standard of Care: Many states have enacted statutes or regulations that establish certain minimum standards of care for private nursing homes. However, even if a nursing home can show it complied with minimum licensing standards, it may still be liable for a resident’s injuries. For these reasons, it is important to have an attorney research the applicable standard of care, licensing requirements, and other regulations in your area.
- Causation: Causation is a common issue that comes up frequently in nursing home litigation. Essentially, causation means determining whether the resident’s injury was inevitable due to his or her preexisting poor health, medical complications, mental condition, or advanced age. Defendants often argue that a resident’s preexisting health condition, and not any negligence on the part of the nursing home, was the true cause of an injury alleged in a lawsuit. But this should not deter a resident who believes a nursing home caused his or her injury. Thus, the fact that a resident’s injury may have been made worse, or harder to treat, because of a preexisting physical or mental condition does not relieve the defendant of liability.
- Defense Considerations: In negligence actions, nursing homes are entitled to assert the sorts of defenses that are available in most negligence cases, such as the contributory negligence of the injured party, and assumption of a known risk. However, in some cases, such as where a person has placed him or herself into a nursing home specifically because he or she needed to be protected from the effects of certain medical conditions, the defense of contributory negligence may not be allowed.
Contact An Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
The personal injury attorneys at The Levin Firm understand that nursing home abuse cases require a team of lawyers, nurses and others trained to review the facts of these cases, including medical records.
At The Levin Firm, our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nursing home abuse personal injury lawyers aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results. We also work with highly-regarded nursing home abuse experts to determine the type of nursing home abuse and how and why it happened. At times, we will work with other law firms that have particular expertise to assure that our clients receive the most thorough and zealous representation.
When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member, or friend in a nursing home abuse case, contact The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183. We represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case.