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Can I Sue Over Nursing Negligence

When a loved one can no longer care for himself or herself, oftentimes the only option left for a family is to transfer the family member to an assisted living facility. However, the sad truth is that residents within such facilities sometimes become victims of abuse. Nursing homes are obligated to report incidents of nursing negligence to state authorities, but you also have the right to file a nursing negligence lawsuit.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

In order to have a nursing negligence lawsuit, you will need to show that the resident suffered injury as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, because nursing home residents often have difficulty communicating, it may be challenging to determine if such mistreatment is occurring.

The following are some examples of nursing home abuse and neglect:

  • Physical abuse from a staff member
  • Failure to protect a resident from physical abuse by another resident
  • Sexual abuse, including rape
  • Failure to provide clean bedding and clothing
  • Verbal and emotional abuse
  • Failure to prevent malnutrition and dehydration
  • Over-sedation

Spotting Nursing Negligence

Although nursing negligence is difficult to detect, there are warning signs that you can look for. Just because you may notice one of more of these signs does not automatically mean that nursing negligence is occurring; however, it does give you reason to alert the proper authorities. Signs of abuse and neglect include:

  • Soiled clothing or bedding
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • The resident appears depressed or withdrawn
  • Bruises, cuts, or welts
  • Weight loss
  • Bedsores

If you believe abuse is occurring, tell the nursing home administrator immediately. You may also directly file a report with the appropriate state authority, often known as the department of aging or adult protective services.

Contacting a Malpractice Law Firm

If you have evidence that nursing negligence is occurring, you should reach out to a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse cases. The type of nursing home abuse attorney you contact will depend on the type of abuse that is occurring.

If the abuse has to do with the administration of medication, such as over-sedation, you may want to consider contacting a medical malpractice law firm. If the abuse is causing personal injury, you may want to work with a personal injury attorney.

In the end, you and your attorney will have to prove that the nursing home's negligence caused the resident's injuries. Although this can be challenging, especially for cases when there are no physical signs of injury, if successful you will be able to collect much-needed compensation on behalf of the injured resident and put an end to the abusive behavior.  Read some of the benefits of having a lawyer for nurisng home abuse cases.