Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Neglect?
You may be able to sue a long-term care facility for neglect if the neglect caused a loved one to suffer an injury or led to their wrongful death.
Nursing home neglect occurs when a staff member fails to provide a resident with the necessary care. This can lead to disastrous consequences, like infections, dehydration, malnutrition, emotional distress, and, in extreme cases, death.
If you believe that a loved one is not getting the care they need at their nursing home, it’s important to speak up — and call 911 if there’s a medical emergency.
Once you know your loved one is safe, reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer. They can listen to your story and tell you if you may be able to file a lawsuit against the individual or facility that failed to provide them with the necessary care.
See if one of the attorneys in our network can help you with a nursing home neglect case.
4 Common Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home residents are at risk of suffering different types of neglect that can lead to injuries or worsen their current health conditions.
Four common types of nursing home neglect are listed below.
- Neglect of basic care: Caregivers are expected to provide residents with adequate water, food, and bathroom assistance. Neglecting to do so can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and even wrongful death, especially if a patient is frail and has other health conditions.
- Neglect of personal care: Personal care refers to a patient’s grooming and hygiene. Caregivers should ensure that a resident’s clothes and bedding are changed as needed and that they are bathed regularly. Signs that personal care needs are being neglected include wet clothes and bedding or appearing in the same clothes day after day.
- Medical neglect: Medical neglect occurs when nursing home staff fail to attend to a resident’s health care needs. Examples include failing to give medication on time, ignoring bedsores (pressure ulcers), and not calling for medical help when needed.
- Neglect of supervision: When staff fail to supervise residents, they are susceptible to injury. When on their own, residents could fall, choke on food, or be physically or sexually assaulted by another resident. Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are especially at risk.
Is Nursing Home Neglect the Same as Nursing Home Abuse?
Many people confuse nursing home neglect with nursing home abuse cases. While similar, there are a few key differences between the two.
Nursing home abuse happens when a nursing home staff member intentionally harms a care facility resident.
Examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
In contrast, nursing home neglect is a form of elder abuse that is typically unintentional. However, it can be just as harmful and cause a resident needless pain and suffering.
In many cases, nursing home neglect results from understaffing and lack of training.
Like nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect can have drastic effects on a resident’s well-being. It may cause serious injuries and illnesses, especially if it is not reported in time.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Families may suspect that a loved one is being neglected at a nursing home facility, but it can be difficult to determine what constitutes neglect. This is especially true if they’re unable to be physically present to check on their loved one often.
All families should be vigilant and look for signs of nursing home neglect to ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones.
Warning signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Broken bones, bruises, or burns
- Dental problems
- New medical conditions
- Personality changes
- Poor personal hygiene
- Severe weight loss
- Unadministered medications
- Other nursing home injuries
If there is no clear explanation for a resident’s injury or health condition, neglect or abuse may be involved.
Tip: It’s a good idea to keep a notebook and jot down any signs of abuse or neglect you may see, along with the date they occurred. This information may be helpful in suing a nursing home for negligence.
If you think your loved one is being neglected, but you’re not sure what to do, our case managers may be able to help. Chat now for free to see what options may be available to you.
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How to Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence
Nursing home abuse attorneys handle all aspects of nursing home neglect cases, making the legal process easy and giving families the time they need to heal.
If you’re considering suing a nursing home for negligence, here are the basic steps.
1. Get a Free Case Review
The first step toward justice is to get a free case review to see whether you qualify to sue a nursing home for neglect. We can connect families that have nursing home neglect cases with a top lawyer, who will handle the legal process moving forward.
2. Collect Evidence
Your legal team will gather evidence to build a strong case in preparation for suing a nursing home for negligence.
This evidence may include:
- Doctor reports
- Medical bills
- Nursing home records
- Past complaints of neglect against the facility
- Photographs of injuries
- Witness statements
3. File the Lawsuit
Your nursing home neglect lawyer will file your lawsuit before the nursing home negligence statute of limitations. This law, which differs from state to state, limits the time you have to sue a nursing home for negligence.
Your attorney can explain how much time you have in your case and work to ensure your lawsuit is filed on time.
4. Negotiate a Settlement
Next, your lawyer will attempt to settle your case with the nursing home or assisted living facility and any other parties involved in the neglect.
Nursing home neglect attorneys typically prefer nursing home lawsuit settlements over taking a case to court as they provide families with quicker access to money. In addition, settlements are almost always confidential, keeping the victim’s dignity intact.
If the nursing home fails to make a fair settlement offer, your legal team will be prepared to fight for your family in court.
How Much Is a Neglect Case Worth?
The value of nursing home neglect cases depends on the level of neglect, the mistreatment involved, and several other factors.
It’s not unusual for nursing home neglect cases to award $1 million or more.
Nursing home abuse and neglect payouts our legal partners have recovered include:
- $1 million for a resident with dementia in California
- $1.75 million for the family of a woman who passed away in an Ohio facility
- $1.2 million for an elderly resident in Chicago
- $600,000 for an Alzheimer’s patient in Massachusetts
If you plan on suing a nursing home for negligence, a nursing home neglect lawyer can give you a better idea of how much your case may be worth.
Get a free consultation to see if a top nursing home neglect lawyer can help you with suing a nursing home for negligence.
Factors That Affect How Much Nursing Home Neglect Cases Are Worth
All nursing home neglect cases are unique and award different amounts of compensation based on the specific facts of the case.
A higher payout may result if the neglect:
- Caused severe injuries like a brain injury, stage 4 bedsore, or wrongful death
- Is especially appalling
- Took place over a long period
- Happened at the nursing home in the past
Working with an experienced nursing home law firm can help ensure you get the most financial compensation allowed under the law when suing a nursing home for negligence.
Get Help With a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
Nursing home neglect can cause emotional damage and severe injuries to vulnerable residents. Tragically, in some cases, it can also result in the wrongful death of a beloved family member.
Elderly Americans should be able to live out their final years in peace and dignity. Sadly, nursing home neglect can deprive them of these rights.
The nursing home neglect lawyers in our network have dedicated their careers to fighting for neglect and abuse victims.
They’ve helped thousands of families across the country get justice, securing more than $256 million for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse.
See if they can help you: Get a free case review now.
How to Sue a Nursing Home for Neglect FAQs
Can you sue an assisted living facility for negligence?
Yes, you may be able to sue an assisted living facility for negligence if the negligence led to a loved one’s injuries or wrongful death.
An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can tell you if you may be eligible to sue a care facility for negligence and provide legal advice.
How to prove nursing home negligence?
There are different types of evidence that can be used to prove nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Medical records
- Notes detailing what happened
- Photos or video footage
- Witness accounts
A nursing home negligence attorney can collect evidence to establish that a facility’s carelessness caused a resident harm.
How much can you sue a nursing home for negligence?
The amount that you can sue a nursing home for negligence depends on several factors, including the severity of the negligence and the harm that it caused to your loved one.
However, many nursing home negligence cases end in settlements or trial verdicts of $1 million or more.