The decision to place a parent or a loved one into the care of a nursing home is one of the most difficult choices that adult children will ever have to make. It is essential that they fully research the facilities, competency, and reputation of a nursing home before making this critical decision.
Despite all the research that you may do before making the call, the sad fact remains that residents in nursing homes are vulnerable to abusive nursing home staff members, whether by intentional abuse or neglect.
In such cases, injured residents have the right to demand compensation for their losses. An Indiana, PA nursing home abuse lawyer could help investigate incidents of nursing home abuse and fight to hold negligent nursing homes responsible for injuries sustained while under their care. Reach out to a compassionate Western, PA personal injury attorney today.
Nursing homes occupy a unique position in our society. They perform the dual functions of being permanent housing for millions of senior citizens while at the same time providing skilled nursing care for everything from dietary needs, bathing, the administration of medication, to physical therapy.
As a result, the obligations of nursing homes to provide a safe environment is multilayered. At the most basic level, these facilities must provide proper hand railings, clear walkways, and staff assistance for residents to be able to move around the nursing home safely. Failure to properly maintain the property can lead to slip and fall injuries that have a devastating effect on the health of residents.
Alongside this obligation to provide a safe environment is the duty to hire staff that is well trained to do their jobs. The obligation includes performing proper background checks on potential employees to screen for any potential criminal tendencies. A knowledgeable Indiana, PA nursing home attorney could help to provide more information about the duties of nursing homes and how their actions may contribute to a resident’s injuries.
People who are confined to nursing homes are usually already in poor health. They often live in assisted living facilities because they cannot fully care for their own needs and may need help performing basic duties such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Any deviation from proper care may cause serious health issues.
Residents of nursing homes are also especially vulnerable to emotional trauma. Abusive staff members who berate, threaten, or intentionally neglect residents may worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, or hopelessness. Such actions are no less abusive than those that result in physical injuries. A seasoned legal professional could help evaluate the consequences of nursing home abuse and demand appropriate compensation for a resident’s losses.
From a legal perspective, nursing home negligence occurs when the staff fails to meet the required standard of care in caring for the residents. Establishing caretaker negligence requires a claimant to prove several elements
The first is that the abuse or neglect has taken place. A proactive Western, PA nursing home abuse attorney could help gather evidence to prove the that this abuse occurred. Examples can include nursing charts that indicate a lack of proper care, maintenance records that show resident complaints were not addressed, and witness statements from visiting family members or co-residents that indicate incidents of abuse or neglect.
The claimant must also prove that a failure to provide proper care resulted in an injury. This could include a simple physical injury, such as undue bruising or a cut. In other cases, these injuries may threaten the long-term health of residents already in a frail condition. The harm could also be mental and emotional. Feelings of hopelessness, despair, or depression can often accompany physical injuries to residents in nursing homes. A skilled legal professional could help to demonstrate how an instance of abuse has caused harm to a resident.
Whenever a nursing home allows an employee to abuse or be neglectful in treatment of a resident, that nursing homes may be liable for any damage that results. All employers are responsible for the actions of their employees, and nursing homes are no exception. Many cases bring dual claims against the abusive employees for direct neglect and against nursing homes for neglectful hiring practices.
A Western, PA nursing home abuse lawyer could help protect the rights of injured nursing home residents. Attorneys could perform investigations into the incident, evaluate the hiring and training practices of nursing homes and demand fair payment for your losses. Contact Marcus & Mack today and get started by talking to a well-practiced legal professional.
By: Lori M.