You Can Sue for Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse, Malpractice
You can sue a nursing home if your loved one has been harmed and there is evidence that it was caused by neglect, abuse or negligence, all of which can be considered malpractice in this context.
According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, all residents are entitled to receive quality care and live in an environment that improves or maintains the quality of their physical and mental health. This entitlement includes freedom from neglect, abuse, and misappropriation of funds. Residents do not surrender their rights to protection from criminal acts when they enter a facility.
In addition to the legal information below, we also have information on the following:
Evidence of Nursing Home Malpractice
—Various federal, state and local laws protect residents and specify procedures that must be followed for the health and safety of those residents. Violation of those laws may subject facility operators and staff to criminal and civil penalties. Those statutes also define the standard of care that must be followed by the facility. Violations are evidence of negligence.
If a facility fails to administer adequate care, you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation. This compensation may cover medical bills, pain, suffering, disfigurement and even losses suffered by the resident’s family if the resident happens to die as a result of the situation.
Most abuse cases focus on the following:
- Physical abuse, the use of force resulting in bodily injury or physical pain. This includes the inappropriate use of drugs and physical punishment of any kind.
- Sexual abuse, non-consensual sexual contact, including unwanted touching, rape, sodomy, coerced nudity, and sexually explicit photographing.
- Emotional or psychological abuse, the infliction of anguish, pain or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts and verbal assaults. It also includes ignoring a vulnerable adult, denying their rights, and using racist language.
- Neglect, the failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or care responsibilities, such as providing food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, and personal safety. Examples include:
- Incorrect body positioning;
- Lack of toileting or changing of disposable briefs;
- Lack of assistance eating and drinking;
- Lack of assistance with walking;
- Lack of bathing;
- Poor hand washing techniques;
- Lack of assistance with participating in activities of interest;
- Ignoring call bells or cries for help.
- Abandonment, the desertion of an elder by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care or by a person with physical custody of an elder.
- Financial or Material Exploitation, the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets.
In general, elder abuse is defined as any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Elder abuse is also a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights. Nursing homes are held liable for elder abuse.