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Can a Nursing Home Be Held Liable for Abuse or Neglect?


Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 09, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse

concerned womanNursing homes have an obligation to ensure the patients under their care are receiving the treatment they require. If a resident is deprived of the treatment he or she needs, it may result in the resident suffering serious injury or death. Depending on the circumstances, the nursing home can be held liable for this.

If you suspect that a loved one who is staying at a nursing home is suffering from abuse or neglect due to a staff member's actions, incompetent practices or due to another resident, contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi as soon as possible. Our New Haven nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers will help you determine if the nursing home can be held liable.

Below, we discuss several factors that may indicate when a nursing home can be held accountable when a resident suffers an injury.

Nursing Home Liability

Nursing homes must provide residents access to competent medical care, housing, hygienic assistance, and nourishing food and water. When these things are not provided, and residents suffer injuries, the facility itself may be liable. For example, a nursing home could potentially be held liable if an injury was caused by any of the following actions or conditions:

  • Negligent practices or rules for resident care implemented by the nursing home
  • Negligent hiring practices, such as failing to conduct background checks on applicants
  • Failing to monitor staff members who are caring for disabled or vulnerable residents
  • Improperly training staff to care for residents
  • Failing to provide security measures that protect residents
  • Neglecting residents’ medical needs, such as failing to properly administer residents’ medications
  • Failing to provide access to food or water
  • Failing to correct or repair safety hazards on the premises that may harm residents
  • Using dangerous or unreasonable restraints on residents
  • Acts of intentional abuse or neglect by staff members

Elements of Negligence

Valid claims of nursing home abuse or neglect must prove four things:

  • Duty of care: The nursing home owed the resident a duty of care. This is typically established through the contracted service between the nursing home and the resident or resident’s family or personal representative.
  • Breach of duty: The nursing home breached the duty owed to the resident by failing to provide the services or treatment he or she required.
  • Causation: The nursing home’s breach of duty of care is the cause of the resident’s injuries or ailment.
  • Damages: The resident incurred measurable damages due to the injury, such as the cost of medical treatment to heal his or her injuries.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to identify. It is important you are able to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect - your loved one may be afraid to tell you what is happening because he or she fears retaliation:  

  • Physical abuse, including unexplained bruises, burns or other types of injuries
  • Fall injuries, which can indicate the resident is being left unattended or is not receiving the assistance he or she needs from staff or caregivers
  • Emotional issues, such as anxiety, unexplained mood or personality changes, acting fearful, refusing to interact with staff or refusing to visit with loved ones, withdrawing from social support systems or being hesitant to talk freely
  • Malnourishment, sudden weight loss or poor hygiene
  • Bed sores or pressure ulcers, which may indicate the resident is being left immobile for long periods of time
  • Unsanitary living conditions, such as soiled bedding or clothing
  • Marks or wounds on the resident’s wrists which may indicate the use of physical restraints

Schedule a Free Consultation

The New Haven personal injury attorneys of D’Amico & Pettinicchi fight for justice for families impacted by nursing home abuse. We will review your case and discuss any legal options that may be available in your situation.

Request a free, no obligation consultation today. We require no upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

Call (866) 848-7077 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form today.