Nursing homes, long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, convalescent homes, rest homes, or elder care facilities, and assisted living facilities; no matter what you call them, they are all designed to serve a purpose. These places provide care to the elderly or disabled who cannot wholly care for themselves. Facilities of this type owe a duty of care to their residents, and if they fail to uphold this duty, they may be sued by an experienced nursing home negligence attorney in Pennsylvania.
If your family member was recently injured in a nursing home, you might be wondering what rights or recourse they have. Depending on the specifics of their situation, they may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home and its employees. It is best to schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney in Pennsylvania to determine if your loved one has a case and how much they might receive in damages.
When is there Grounds for a Civil Lawsuit?
Nursing homes and their employees may commit intentional acts, fail to act in certain ways, or fail to prevent certain accidents that leave them liable for the damages their residents and other people face. Employee conduct and facility policies are just to ways that nursing homes could be sued for negligence. Examples of this include:
- Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of hazards
This can include actions such as preventing fall accidents to preventing one resident from attacking another. If the nursing home facility or its staff members are aware of certain dangers or should reasonably be aware of certain hazards and fail to take action to prevent injury, they could be held liable with the help of a Pennsylvania nursing home negligence attorney.
- Negligent hiring
Nursing homes have a duty of care to hire employees who will be trustworthy and provide safe care. If the nursing home hires an employee who ends up neglecting, abusing, or otherwise intentionally harming a patient or they fail to train and supervise their employees adequately, they could be named as a defendant in a lawsuit for negligence.
- Negligent supervision of and provision for residents
Long-term care facilities are required to have health and safety policies. Within these policies should be strategies to keep residents safe such as using bed rails, bed alarms, door locks, and door alarms. These policies should also address the cleanliness and sanitation of the facility. If the nursing home fails to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the residents it houses, they are negligent and could be sued for the damages they cause. For example, if a resident were to fall and injure themselves or if they were to succumb to an infectious disease.
- Negligent medical care
Also grounds for a lawsuit against the nursing home, its staff, or medical providers who give care there is the lack of adequate medical treatment. If a resident is not provided with what is considered to be the standard of care under the circumstances and is harmed, the nursing home could face a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your loved one received medical care at a nursing home that caused injuries or damages, you should speak with a skilled nursing home negligence lawyer in Pennsylvania as soon as possible.
Essential Elements of a Nursing Home Negligence Case
To win a negligence case for a nursing home resident and their families, several elements must exist. Your Pennsylvania nursing home negligence lawyer will need to prove or in the case of a settlement be able to prove to a jury that:
- The nursing home owed a duty to the resident (this is shown based on the care contract between the resident, their family, and the nursing home facility)
- The duty of care was breached, meaning that the nursing home or its staff failed to do something they should have done or did something they should not have done
- The breach of duty caused injury to the resident
- The injury caused damages such as medical bills
These elements can vary on a case by case basis, but they are generally what is required to win a nursing home negligence case. By speaking to a well-versed, Pennsylvania nursing home negligence attorney, you and your elderly family member can find out if you have a claim and, if so, how much it might be worth.
Is a Civil Lawsuit Necessary?
If the nursing home or its staff members are facing criminal charges or other penalties from the state or federal government, you may be wondering if a civil lawsuit is really necessary. Keep in mind that if found guilty of criminal charges, the defendants in the criminal case might be required to spend time in jail or prison, pay fines, complete community service, or face other criminal punishments. The federal and state governments can take away licensing or funding.
However, none of these punishments or sanctions will pay for the damages suffered by your family member. A civil lawsuit for negligence can help your elderly family member receive money for their injuries, whereas other actions cannot. A Nursing home negligence lawyer in Pennsylvania could help your loved one receive compensation for the following types of damages:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Cost of necessary medical treatment
Call a Seasoned Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in Pennsylvania for Help
If your loved one was harmed while in the care of a nursing home, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. When a nursing home or its staff are negligent, a Pennsylvania nursing home negligence lawyer could help you file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. They may be entitled to financial compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as other types of damages from their injuries. Get your lawsuit started today by scheduling a case consultation with an attorney from our firm.