We put a loved one in the care of nursing home staff to protect them. We know they need more care than family members can provide. Nursing homes have medical professionals ready to take care of their needs and keep them safe. Then we find out they’ve been abused or neglected when we weren’t looking. Sometimes, it can be difficult to identify abuse or neglect. If you suspect a problem, the first call you make should be to the adult protective services department in your state.
The elderly are more vulnerable to injuries and health problems as they age. Dementia can also cause confusion and complicated situations. Some patients may be uncooperative in things like physical therapy. Unless you have definitive proof, always let professionals work out the details. What looks like abuse or neglect at first might be just another ugly part of the aging process.
Nursing Home Abuse Isn’t Always Intentional
One of the most important things to realize before you call a personal injury lawyer in Coral Gables is it’s not always intentional. Neglect especially can be a common symptom of inadequate staffing or other problems employees don’t control. Sometimes, medical staff doesn’t mean to be overly physical with patients. Getting a stubborn or unwilling patient up for physical therapy or tests can be more challenging depending on the day.
Of course, some cases are hard to mistake. In many states, loved ones may place hidden cameras in the rooms. This way, they can document any issues of physical abuse should they arise. Abuse and neglect in a nursing home often stem from under-staffing or excessive hours. The nursing home itself doesn’t take preventative measures to keep everything running smoothly. So employees are stretched thin trying to meet all the patients’ needs when they’re simply unable to.
The other side of this is nursing homes that just don’t conduct the proper background checks or provide sufficient training. This can lead to malicious acts or workers who don’t know how to ensure patients safety. In many instances, the abuse and neglect involved are a matter of ignorance.
When Are Nursing Homes Liable for Injuries with Abuse and Neglect?
Just like with any negligence claim, you have to show that the nursing home failed to do something or did something incorrectly, and that its acts/omissions caused injuries. When the abuse or neglect is serious, the first thing many people think of is moving their loved one. Accidents can happen in any facility. The question is, did the nursing home take reasonable steps to prevent it? What if an orderly was caught manhandling a patient or assaulting them? A personal injury lawyer in Coral Gables might ask what precautions were taken. Background checks, training, and scheduling all come into play. If the employee had reasonable training and supervision with no prior record, it might be just an accident.
What if the nursing home took all these precautions, but were slow in responding? Depending on why the response was delayed and how long, the nursing home could face serious liability issues. If they could’ve prevented it with reasonable background checks and supervision or staffing, they could also be liable. Regardless of whether there’s a civil suit, abuse and some neglect is always taken seriously by professionals. State adult protective services and the police can handle the criminal liability. They can also work with nursing homes to assess the whole situation and figure out what went wrong and the next steps.
Get All the Facts with Personal Injury Lawyers on Your Side
Above all else, personal injury lawyers are on your side in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Abuse isn’t always physical. It could also be emotional, sexual, or financial. It doesn’t always leave bruises or broken bones.
Before you head into a civil action of any kind, you should always have all the facts in front of you. This means exploring not only the injuries, but also the actions or inaction of the nursing home. A personal injury lawyer in Coral Gables explores all the facts in hope of leaving no stone unturned. So regardless of what answer you get, you can be sure you have the full picture. To talk to lawyers about your case and protect your loved ones’ interests in a nursing home, click here.