Can You Sue a Nursing Home Facility if your Loved One is Injured in their Care?

Nursing home injuries are very common in the United States with over half a million cases reported annually.  Many of these events are due to the conditions that nursing home workers have to endure at these facilities such as a constant increase in working hours, forced overtime, lower pay than other up-scale establishments and a great amount of stress.  Can you sue a nursing home facility

Many nursing homes cut costs in order to make greater profits when they should be investing the money to ensure the best care for their residents.  The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was passed to ensure the physical, mental and general well being of every nursing home resident.  If a nursing home is found to be in violation they can lose all federal funding.   

The types of abuse found in nursing homes may include the failure to: 

  • Keep the nursing home sanitary and safe
  • Provide residents with enough water and food
  • Adhere and comply with safety standards
  • Provide care for a resident’s wounds and sores
  • Change a resident’s clothes and bedding
  • Watch residents appropriately leading to slips/falls
  • Provide proper oral care leading to infections
  • Failure to provide medication

There are several things you can do to ensure your loved one isn’t the victim of abuse and neglect in a nursing home.  

  • Research.  Research the facility where you are considering placing your loved one.  There are many online resources and tools to research a nursing home’s history.  Medicare provides several online tools and digital libraries of ratings and inspection reports.  They use a five-star rating system which includes information of each nursing home’s quality measures and inspection reports.  Other digital resources include Nursing Home Inspect and NursingHome411.  Both sites include a vast amount of inspection reports and data on facilities’ staffing and citations.
  • Educate. Teach yourself the signs of abuse and neglect so you are more likely to notice it when you visit your loved ones at the facility
  • Visit.  This is in relation to the prior step.  You must visit your loved ones in a nursing home.  This lets the nursing staff know that you have your eyes on them and are monitoring what they do, which might prevent them from neglecting your loved one.

Not everyone is in a legal position to hire an injury attorney in Birmingham to sue a nursing home facility.  In order to sue you must have standing.  The following is a list of people having legal authority to sue a nursing home for negligence:

  • The nursing home victim/resident
  • The nursing home victim’s power of attorney
  • The nursing home victim’s court appointed guardian
  • The dead victim’s wrong death beneficiaries
  • The personal representative of the dead victim’s estate

The basic steps for suing a nursing home are pretty straightforward for an experienced Alabaster personal injury attorney.  The usual steps are:

  • You must collect and document all the evidence you can.
  • Give the evidence to a lawyer and allow the attorney to conduct an investigation
  • Based on the investigation and consultation with an attorney you decide whether to sue the nursing home or settle.

If a settlement is not agreed upon the litigation will then include:

  • Pleadings.  This includes the necessary expert affidavits and reports certifying the case.
    • Discovery.  Depositions of you and witnesses and any party to the lawsuit will be taken.
  • Trial.  Nursing home trials can be very emotional and last 1-2 weeks.  Unless the case settles, the jury will decide on compensation for the victim.

Nursing home lawsuits can be very complex medical malpractice lawsuits that require many experts and hundreds of hours of work.  Your loved one deserves a nursing home stay that is safe and free from injury or abuse and provides the best quality care.  By suing a nursing home for abuse of your loved one you can help to prevent it from happening to someone else and you can recover money to provide better care for your loved one.  It can achieve a sense of justice that the right thing was done.  The Harris Firm has a team of qualified expert professionals to help ensure a fair and successful case.

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