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Nursing facilities have a great responsibility in caring for the elderly patients. However, some of the best facilities in the country find themselves in the middle of a legal battle due to a disgruntled family member. In New York, Nursing home facilities must protect themselves against unnecessary claims made by families. Our goal is to help these facilities defend themselves against their accusers.
During a case against a nursing facility, the plaintiff will try to say that the administration or staff acted negligently. They may throw around words like elder abuse and neglect. Some states allow punitive damages to be collected. However, it is a rare case that the judge will award such compensation. Here are the most common basis for nursing facility claims.
* Neglectful Hiring
A nursing facility must hire personnel who are not only qualified but put the best needs of the patients first and foremost. These employees must have no records of violence or abuse to be employed at a nursing facility. It is important to conduct background checks so that the residents are not at risk. If an employee is working for the center that has a questionable background, the nursing home can be responsible. Always conduct drug testing and police checks for all new employees.
It is often a problem to keep good workers these days. The Center for Disease Control states that there should be one staff member for every 1.64 residents. If the facility does not provide adequate staffing, residents are neglected. This can also cause great problems with staff members that feel overworked, overwhelmed, and mistreated. To ensure the nursing facility is not liable, there must be an adequate number of caretakers on the floor at all times.
*Workers Who Are Not Trained
Because it is hard to find and keep good workers, nursing homes may be tempted to hire those who are not as professional as they would like. This may also include throwing people into a job without the proper training for lack of staffing. A nursing facility will be accountable if their staff was not properly trained, and a patient was injured due to this matter.
*Third-Party Responsibility Claim
Any abuse that occurs by a third party in the residence can also fall back on the facility. The nursing home has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all their residents. If a resident is injured by another resident, or a guest visiting the facility, the home can be liable for not having correct security to prevent these occurrences.
*Violation of Statutory or Regulatory Rights
Residents in a nursing facility are entitled to independence, self-respect, and solitude. A nursing home can be held legally responsible if one of its employees infringes on these essential rights.
*Errors in Medications
Nearly every nursing home resident takes some sort of medication. If the right dosage is not given to the resident, they can suffer from the error. Not only can the facility be responsible, but also the pharmacy and pharmacist too if the error was on their end.
There are many things that fall under the physical abuse category. From force-feeding to the use of physical restraints, nursing homes often get in trouble over abuse.
Due to the fragile nature of the residents, it is imperative they are treated with respect. Making sarcastic remarks, or even insults, are intolerable acts. Threats and isolation are often common reasons used in lawsuits too. Some residents may fear they will not get their food or bath if they do not cooperate with their staff member. Sometimes the elderly can be manipulated easily by fear. Residents can become dehydrated or even malnourished when they are under mental abuse. Those who have emotional abuse can show signs of depression, low self-esteem, mood swings, confusing, anxiety, odd behaviors and much more. Facilities need to be on guard and watch for such behaviors.
Sexual abuse can happen at even the best nursing facilities. Due to the fact that the elderly patient is probably too weak or ill to give their consent, the facility can be held liable. The sexual abuse can be from a staff member, resident within the facility, or a visitor.
*Abuse of Finances
Misappropriation of funds is a common occurrence in some facilities. It is considered financial abuse. This can include making tardy bill payments, using funds for the property, forging signatures to gain access to funds, taking advantage of a POA, or tricking the elderly into signing a will or other legal document.
Each resident has a degree of care that is expected. When a senior is not getting their hygiene attended too, being served food at proper intervals, having adequate medical treatments, and placed in a safe room where there are no safety hazards; it falls back on the nursing facility. The residents must receive their needs attended too and have proper medical care at all times.
Getting Legal Help When You Need It Most
Most patients and their families begin gathering evidence early on against the nursing facility. As a facility, it is imperative that you know what is going on in your center at all times. From management to nurses’ aids, it is vital that everyone follows the rules for appropriate senior care. If your facility is in legal trouble, or you want to keep an attorney on board for any future issues, call us today! We have knowledgeable attorneys that will want to fight on your behalf.