In 1987, the United States government enacted a law that states the rights that every nursing home resident has. The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law requires that nursing homes “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” If your spouse or parent who lives in a nursing home sustained injury as a result of neglect, you might be able to pursue compensation.
Neglect is a violation of Residents’ Rights. The facility may be liable for any harm that occurs as a result. A lawyer who handles claims against nursing homes can help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to determine your legal options. We can review and evaluate your case at no charge.
What Constitutes Neglect in a Nursing Home
Medicare and Medicaid define neglect in a nursing home as both:
- Failing to provide care for the resident in a way that avoids pain or harm.
- Failure of the staff or facility to take quick and appropriate action when there is abuse or a potentially harmful situation.
A guide by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services outlines rules on how residents in a nursing home should be treated and gives tips on how to report abuse.
Some examples of neglect include:
- Failure to correctly administer medications: This type of neglect can become abuse if the facility gives too much or too little medication.
- Inadequate hygiene services: This type of neglect occurs when staff fail to provide daily personal hygiene services like bathing, shaving, dressing, brushing teeth or dentures, brushing hair, applying deodorant, moisturizer, or trimming nails.
- Soiled bedding and clothing: Failure to change and launder dirty bedding and/or clothing.
- Insufficient meals: Serving residents an insufficient quantity of food or meals that do not meet the nutritional needs of the residents are forms of neglect. Neglect also occurs if the staff does not assist residents who need help with feeding or drinking.
- Insufficient hydration: Staff needs to keep track of the amount of liquids each resident drinks every day to avoid severe medical complications. Some of the complications that can result from dehydration include kidney stones, bladder infections, and kidney disease.
- Physical activity: It is necessary to maintain residents’ health and prevent pneumonia and other medical problems. If the facility does not provide appropriate physical activity options for the residents every day, that could be neglect.
- Lack of mobility assistance: If a facility fails to provide the assistance needed for every resident to get out of the bedroom, that is neglect. It is also neglect if a facility’s staff does not help residents participate in social activities, particularly those individuals with mobility issues, memory issues, and mental impairments.
- Failure to prevent sacral ulcer (bedsore): A nursing home that fails to establish and follow sacral ulcer (bedsore) prevention protocols is guilty of neglect.
- Bodily oversight: Failing to notice and treat all wounds promptly is neglect.
Some warning signs of neglect might include when your loved one in a nursing home:
- Becomes fearful, angry, anxious, or depressed.
- Develops sacral ulcers.
- Loses weight without an acceptable explanation.
- Develops abnormally dry skin or chapped lips.
- Has body odor or the scent of human excrement.
- Looks unkempt, or their clothes or bedding look dirty.
If you notice any of these or other indications of neglect, you should notify the nursing home administrator. If necessary, seek immediate medical attention for your loved one. A lawyer can help you take legal action against the facility.
Damages For Neglect at a Nursing Home
If your loved one sustained harm as a result of neglect while residing in a nursing home, the facility can be responsible for any injuries. The damages you may be able to recover are economic, meaning they come with receipts or bills that show the dollar value of the loss. Other recoverable items include noneconomic losses, which are meaningful losses that do not have an invoice.
Some of the common economic losses from neglect at a nursing home include:
- Medical expenses: Using an ambulance, emergency room, or hospital are medical expenses. Other expenses include doctor visits, surgery, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and other treatments your loved one needs to treat the damage they suffered from the neglect.
- Enhanced level of care: If the harm from the neglect causes your parent or spouse to need a higher level of care than before, such as skilled nursing instead of general care, the facility can be responsible for the new expense.
- Equipment: Sometimes, a victim of neglect will need different types of equipment as a result of harm from neglect at a nursing home. This category can include things like a wheelchair or a walker.
This list is not comprehensive. Our team will investigate the neglect your loved one suffered and determine all economic damages for which they may be eligible.
Although these losses typically do not come with receipts or bills, they represent significant harm to the victim’s life. These losses can include factors like:
- Pain and suffering
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Every case is unique. We will need to talk to you and look into your situation to determine the amount that you can pursue.
How a Lawyer Can Help With a Nursing Home Neglect Claim
When a nursing home or assisted living facility causes a resident to suffer harm, the facility is liable.
If your parent or spouse experienced neglect while in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you might want to talk to a lawyer who can explain your legal options.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we hold facilities accountable when their negligence harms residents. We handle nursing home claims all over America. Our clients do not have to deal directly with the nursing home’s lawyers because we fight their battles for them.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation. If we take your case, you will not have to pay upfront legal fees.