What Makes For A Successful Nursing Home Personal Injury Case?
If your loved one was severely injured or died because of negligent care they received in a nursing home, you may have cause for a lawsuit against the facility. There are four aspects that have to be satisfied for a case to go forward, and you should understand what these are and how they relate to cases involving nursing homes.
Duty of Care
The duty to provide care is an essential prerequisite to the case. This is rather straightforward in the case of nursing homes, since they obviously do have a duty to provide adequate medical/personal care for a patient and to maintain a safe environment for residents and their visitors.
However, what if the patient died of a cause that was not under the realm of normal nursing home care or something beyond their reasonable control? Some examples where the facility would not be at fault are:
- The patient was injured while on a home visit with a family member.
- The patient was injured in an ambulance or other transport service (not affiliated with the nursing home) going from the nursing home to another facility for a medical procedure.
- A doctor (not affiliated with the nursing home) was treating the patient and was guilty of malpractice with regards your loved one, and their mistake caused the injurious harm.
Breach of Duty
After establishing the duty that the nursing home had towards the patient, there has to be compelling evidence that this duty was breached in some way by some component of the nursing home as an entity.
This breach can be caused by:
- A staffing number that is well below nursing home industry/government standards,
- Medical malpractice by a physician, nurse, or other health professional affiliated with the nursing home,
- Standard safety precautions that are being ignored,
- Environmental conditions, such as overall cleanliness, being poor,
- Poor training given to direct care staff.
- Lax hiring standards of staff,
- Unwise managerial decisions,
- Inadequate supplies, and broken or missing equipment,
- Improper emergency protocols,
- And more.
Proof of Injury
The patient of the facility must have had a substantial injury, or have died, while under the care of the facility.
Finally, the first three factors have to be tied together: the facility should have provided the particular care the patient needed, the care was not given or was botched, and this resulted in an injury to the patient. If the cause of the injury or fatality is unclear, this can make it hard for you to prevail in your case.
If your loved one was very elderly, had a terminal illness, or was frail for some other reason, it could be argued that they died as a direct result of these things. To overcome that defense, and get the sympathy of a judge and/or jury, the causation link must be solid, and the negligence must be proven to be egregious.
Many close relatives or guardians of patients injured in nursing homes have prevailed in civil cases because the facility failed in their duty to care for them, and sometimes the settlements are higher than other types of malpractice cases. Families have said "Enough!" to poor care.
For more information, contact The Jaklitsch Law Group or a similar firm.