Nursing homes play an essential role in our society. Our vulnerable elderly and dependent adult population relies on their services to maintain their health and well-being. Families often choose nursing homes for their loved ones because they cannot provide them with the level of care they deserve. They trust that a facility with trained professionals can give their family members the around-the-clock assistance they need.
Unfortunately, nursing homes sometimes fall short of these expectations by failing to abide by legal staffing requirements. The law mandates that facilities maintain a specific number and type of staff members during certain periods. These regulations not only help the nursing home run smoother, but they also prevent the mistreatment of residents, who might otherwise not receive the urgent help they need.
If someone you love suffered an injury or illness because of nursing home neglect or abuse due to too few employees, a Dallas understaffing lawyer could help you pursue financial awards. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to speak with our legal team about your case.
The Effects of Understaffing in Nursing Homes
In 2018, PBS shared federal data that revealed the understaffing crisis in most nursing homes. The article states that most nursing facilities had fewer nurses and caretakers than reported to the federal government, particularly on weekends. Many homes had large daily fluctuations in staffing, and families and residents alike have noticed the trend.
In August 2020, KXAN reported that Texas leads the nation in nursing home staffing shortages. Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that Texas has more understaffing concerns with nursing, clinical, aide, and other staffers. According to ProPublica, Texas has a high rate of violations, particularly in terms of infection control.
Without enough staff to properly care for residents and prevent the spread of disease, an infection can quickly run rampant in a home. If your loved one developed an infection because of nursing home understaffing, a Dallas understaffing lawyer could help you hold the facility accountable for the harm they caused.
The Law Prohibits Nursing Home Understaffing
Nursing homes have some flexibility in maintaining adequate staff, but legal requirements take precedence in terms of hiring and scheduling. Both federal and state laws apply, and nursing homes can receive fines for failing to abide by these standards. However, some argue that the relatively low fines do not serve as a deterrent for the many facility administrators who continue to approve insufficient staffing.
Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987
In 1986, Congress requested that the Institute of Medicine conduct a study on nursing homes. Researchers discovered extensive abuse and neglect of residents, and Congress acted by passing sweeping reforms as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. The reforms became known as the Nursing Home Reform Act, and they set legal standards for staffing and quality of care in nursing homes nationwide.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care details the nursing home staffing regulations per the Nursing Home Reform Act. These include 24-hour licensed nursing services that can handle residents’ needs and a registered nurse at least eight consecutive hours a day, seven days a week. In 1999, lawmakers updated the requirements to include a full registered nursing staff and staff-to-resident ratios for direct caregivers.
Texas Nursing Home Staffing Laws
In addition to federal standards, Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) also requires sufficient staff to provide care for all residents, including:
- A director of nursing working 40 hours per week
- A designated charge nurse on every shift
- A licensed nurse-resident ratio of 1:20
If the nursing home where your loved one suffered an injury or illness did not maintain adequate staff, a Dallas understaffing lawyer could help you seek compensation for your losses. Contact the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm 24/7 to discuss your case in more detail.
For a free legal consultation with a Dallas Understaffing Lawyer serving Dallas, call (800) 794-0444
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
Dealing with the consequences of nursing home understaffing may feel overwhelming enough, let alone the thought of pursuing legal action against the facility. You deserve financial recovery for the damages resulting from the injury or illness your loved one suffered. An attorney can help you through the process by:
- Investigating your case.
- Gathering evidence to support your claim.
- Proving the negligence of nursing home administrators.
- Demonstrating the damages that you incurred.
- Evaluating your damages to pursue fair financial awards.
- Handling all communication with the insurance company.
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary.
Your legal team will keep you updated every step of the way and address any concerns or questions you may have to ease your burden of dealing with your claim.
Dallas Dallas Understaffing Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Statutes of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse Cases
In Texas, victims of nursing home abuse or neglect and their families can file claims against the facility responsible for causing their injury or illness within a certain period, known as a statute of limitations. If you wish to recover damages for your family member’s injuries, you have up to two years to file your claim per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003.
If your loved one lost their life because of nursing home understaffing, you also have up to two years from the day they died to file a wrongful death suit. A Dallas understaffing lawyer can determine how much time you have left and get started on your case right away.
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Contact the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide each resident with quality care. When they fail to abide by federal and state staffing requirements, resident needs can slip through the cracks and lead to serious problems. If someone you love suffered an injury or illness due to understaffing at a Dallas nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to speak with our legal team about your free case evaluation.