One of the hardest parts of any personal injury case is determining who’s at fault. When it comes to nursing home abuse and neglect, it’s likely not just one person responsible for the circumstances that led to the injury.Yes, someone who physically or sexually abuses a patient should always be held responsible, but the injuries could have resulted from acts/omissions of more than one person. What about the nursing home that hired them? Hopefully, they went through an interview process and ideally ran a background check.
Each case of nursing home abuse in Miami is different. A personal injury law firm can look at the individual circumstances and talk about your options.
What Does a Miami Personal Injury Law Firm Look At?
When you consider filing a nursing home abuse claim, emotions can run high. It is often family members helping vulnerable loved ones to address physical and emotional harm. You want justice, and medical and/or funeral bills can run high depending on the situation. The elderly and other at-risk populations can sustain more serious injuries even in small accidents. Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if injuries were caused by abuse or routine age-related accidents.
Personal injury lawyers may have to dig deep to find all the facts. Then we can give solid advice on how to proceed. What do professionals look at?
- Videos and Other Evidence of Intent: If you have a video of an orderly or nurse hitting a patient or berating them, juries can objectively see the abuse. Video and photo documentation also provides stronger evidence than paperwork. Unfortunately, even doctors don’t always document everything as carefully as we’d like them to.
- Hiring Practices: Who are nursing homes hiring? Do they have the training required to follow known procedures? Workers who have been through a patient care tech program can provide ongoing daily support. While qualified professionals are hard to find, nursing homes have the duty to screen each applicant. They should run background checks to look for any major red flags. Some nursing homes also run credit checks because of the potential for financial abuse. If they don’t meet a reasonable burden in their hiring practices, nursing homes could be liable.
- Managerial Supervision and Training: Every nursing home should provide ongoing training on updates in the medical field. You cannot catch every problematic worker by a simple background check. Sometimes, they have not been caught yet, or they just need the wrong stressor to become abusive. Nursing homes should have a structure set up to manage each employee and make sure there are always checks and balances at every level. Even questionable reports of abuse or neglect should always be fully investigated.
- Staffing: Each worker can only do so much. One of the most common causes behind nursing home neglect is inadequate staffing. If a nursing home loses too many workers all at once, it cannot always be helped. Remaining workers will have to fill in extra shifts. If this becomes an ongoing problem, good healthcare workers can be fatigued and overworked. They may become impatient. It can prevent them from adequately meeting every patient’s needs. A personal injury law firm asks if the nursing home took reasonable steps to prevent this issue or remedy it as soon as possible.
Is a Nursing Home Always Responsible for Abuse and Neglect?
In any facility, unexpected issues can arise. Responsibility to put reasonable safeguards in place is often attributable to more than one person, depending on that nursing home’s management structure. When problems do come up, they should be addressed quickly and fully with the understanding that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. This could include things like addressing allegations from both patients and other workers. Discouraging reporting can be a sign of irresponsible practices, to say the least.
Like other personal injury claims, it comes down a question of if they took reasonable precautions. Did they take reasonable steps to prevent the abuse and neglect or address it when it was reported? Did the nursing home meet their duty of care?
Injuries are more common in nursing homes across the country because of the populations involved. Not every injury is related to abuse and neglect. The nursing home isn’t always liable for injuries that are. If you have any doubts or questions or for more information on all your legal options, click here.