A nursing home can be held legally responsible when an act of negligence, neglect, or abuse on the premises ends up causing harm to a patient or resident.
What is Considered Negligence?
There are accidents, intentional acts, and failures to act that may leave a nursing home liable, either based on the conduct of an employee or based on a policy or ongoing practice at the facility. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:
Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of hazards. This includes everything from preventing slip and fall accidents to preventing one resident from attacking another.
Lack of supervision of residents who then fall, or otherwise injure themselves.
Failure to maintain adequate health and safety policies, including keeping clean and sanitary conditions in resident rooms and in common areas.
Failure to provide adequate medical treatment that is in line with the medical standard of care under the circumstances. When the provision of sub-standard medical care causes harm to a resident, there may be a case for medical malpractice again the nursing home facility and/or against a medical professional who treated the resident.
Regulations On The Standard of Care
If a nursing home accepts Medicare, the nursing home must follow Federal Regulations which set forth the standard of care. The facility must ensure that the resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as possible and each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
To learn more about the Federal Regulations on the Standard of Care, click here.
If the nursing home fails to comply with these regulations and a resident is injured, the nursing home may be liable.
Proving Liability Can Be Complicated
When a resident is injured at a care facility, it is not always obvious what exactly went wrong, and who might be legally responsible. In cases like these, your best first step would be discussing the situation with an experienced attorney at Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill.