It’s difficult to know what to do if your family member suffered harm in a nursing home. In fact, it could be nearly impossible to get answers from the facility, let alone seek justice. You may be getting the runaround from staff or physicians. But your loved one is hurting, and you have a right to know why. The situation might involve medical malpractice, and if that’s the case, you may be able to file a claim.
Medical malpractice refers to situations in which professional negligence by a health care provider harms a patient. It happens when the care deviates from the accepted standards of practice in the medical community. It is never acceptable. Medical malpractice in nursing home care refers to any care or treatment in a nursing home that breaches acceptable medical standards and causes injuries or death.
To have success with a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that four things are true:
- A duty of care was owed by the nursing home,
- The nursing home violated the applicable standard of care,
- Your loved one suffered an injury, and
- The substandard care led to the injury.
People move into nursing homes to get help with their daily care and medical needs. While most nursing homes provide complete, competent care, there are instances when their care is not up to standards. Some forms of medical malpractice in nursing home care include:
- Medication errors
- Physician or staff errors
- Equipment malfunctions
- Resident malnourishment or dehydration
- Allowing or ignoring unsanitary conditions or supplies
- Failing to address a resident’s medical needs or problems
Nursing home abuse and neglect also constitute medical malpractice. Abuse is the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinements, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. Neglect refers to the failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness. Simply put, when health care professionals fail to uphold their duty and a nursing home resident suffers an injury, they must take responsibility.
Time Limit to File a Nursing Home Negligence Claim
If your relative suffered injuries in a nursing home, it’s important to act immediately. If medical malpractice is to blame, you must file a claim within a limited time period. This legal time limit is called the statute of limitations, and it can forever bar you from seeking justice. In addition, you may have more or less time to file the claim depending on the particular situation.
We welcome you to contact Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. Submit your information for a free case review.