Every state legislates the minimum number of skilled caregivers – registered nurses, nursing assistants, and other caregivers – those nursing home facilities should provide. These requirements are meant to ensure that residents of nursing homes receive an appropriate number of direct care hours on a daily basis.
If your loved one suffered an injury because of understaffing, our San Diego understaffing lawyer may be able to help. We can help you understand your legal rights and options and discuss how we may be able to represent your loved one’s case. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only get paid after a settlement. We do not ask for any up-front fees to get started with your case.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to speak to one of our attorneys.
The Dangers of Understaffing
In most nursing homes, certified nursing assistants are responsible for helping residents with daily tasks like eating, grooming, or moving around. However, when a facility is understaffed, a residents’ quality of life may suffer. In dire cases, residents may contract illnesses, worsen if they are sick, or even die while waiting for help.
If a nursing home attempts to operate without the necessary staff and a resident suffers an injury, they may be found liable for negligence. Because of understaffing, nursing home residents may suffer neglect that may lead to:
- Preventable infections from unhygienic environments
- Weight loss from not receiving help with meals
- Worsening symptoms of diseases and infections
- Undiagnosed diseases or infections
- Not receiving medication on time
- Restraint injuries
- No response to life-threatening emergencies
- Maltreatment by overworked staff
- Loss of dignity and a lower quality of life
When you’re looking for a nursing home to care for your loved one, it may be useful to check the facility’s Medicare ratings. Medicare ratings are assigned according to different criteria, including the number of staff members in each facility.
If your loved one is currently a nursing home resident and was injured as a result of understaffing, it will be important to gather documentation of their injuries as well as their previous health records. You may also want to make a report with the nursing home facility itself as well as any regulatory agencies that support the enforcement of nursing home standards in the state.
Finally, filing a personal injury lawsuit is an avenue provided in the law to seek compensation for any injuries or losses. Such lawsuits allow the victims to hold nursing home facilities accountable for their residents’ wellbeing.
California Laws on Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse
Some injuries in nursing homes could be prevented by ensuring quality staff care for residents.
The Patients’ Bill of Rights is clear about such caregiving facilities’ duties to their patients or residents. According to the California Health and Safety Code §1599.1, all nursing home facilities should have an adequate number of qualified staff members for all services the facility provides.
According to the California Health and Safety Code §1276.5, every facility should provide a minimum of 3.2 hours of nursing care per patient per day. This means that, if the facility has 50 residents, there should be at least 160 total daily care hours clocked in by the staff.
Other laws exist in California to penalize elder abuse and neglect. If you suspect a facility or its staff to be guilty of elder abuse, they may be liable for other charges. The parties responsible may face additional consequences for the injuries your loved one suffered.
For a free legal consultation with a Understaffing Lawyer serving San Diego, call (800) 842-6336
Possible Losses Recoverable Due to Understaffing
If you suspect your loved one was injured because of neglect related to understaffing, it can be important to consult with an attorney to learn your options. The attorney will assess your case’s facts and help you collect the evidence you need to prove your allegations.
Usually, in civil personal injury lawsuits, you will need to show that a duty of care was owed to your loved one. You will also need to show direct causality between the caregiver’s acts of negligence and the injuries they suffered. If these elements of the case can be demonstrated, the court may award damages according to the injuries suffered, such as:
- Economic damages – expenses or financial losses incurred because of the injury. This may include hospital bills, funeral expenses, and more.
- Non-economic damages – compensation for pain and suffering and intangible losses, which may be harder to calculate. A lawyer will be able to research these factors and assign them a monetary value.
- Punitive damages – money awarded to punish the defendants for causing intentional harm or demonstrating grossly negligent behavior.
A lawyer can speak with you more about the forms of losses you may be able to claim in your loved one’s case.
It is important to keep in mind the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, you have up to two years to file a claim.
San Diego Understaffing Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If your loved one suffered an injury in a nursing home due to understaffing, a San Diego understaffing lawyer may be able to help you. You and your family member should not have to pay for the expenses resulting from someone else’s mistakes.
Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understands these kinds of cases and can help you determine your legal options. Contact us today at (800) 842-6336 to schedule your free case evaluation.