Elder adults living in nursing homes can be quite vulnerable to accidents and injuries. Age-related changes in any individual cause an increased risk of age-related diseases.
Many age-related changes cause older adults to be more susceptible to choking, falling, or infections. Frailty due to inactivity or age-related biological changes can cause older adults to fall and get injured.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, over 300,000 older adults are hospitalized due to injuries caused by falling.
Of course, many adults in nursing homes also may become injured due to nursing home abuse.
But accidents that do not rise to the level of abuse do happen. As with any personal injury case, accidents can occur in any number of ways. Most often, however, they occur because someone was negligent. In nursing homes, accidents or injuries to residents frequently occur because of the negligence of nursing homeowners, managers, or caregivers.
Determining who can be held liable for nursing home accidents and injuries to residents is a critical issue that your nursing home abuse lawyer will undertake. But it is not a simple matter.
Common Nursing Home Injuries
While you should always be vigilant about your loved one’s care if they are in a nursing home, injuries to nursing home residents are not uncommon. Some typical injuries include (are not limited to):
- Bed Sores
These common nursing home injuries are serious and should be carefully investigated to rule out abuse or neglect as the cause.
While abuse includes an element of force, neglect is the failure to meet an older person’s basic needs – like providing food and water.
If an injury to your loved one occurs repeatedly or cannot be adequately explained, you may have cause for concern.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Accidents/Injuries to Residents?
As noted above, the answer to this question is not necessarily straightforward. Most of the time, it depends on the specific facts of the individual case.
In some cases, more than one party may be liable for a resident’s injury. In other cases, there could be no liability at all— it could just have been an accident.
Nursing home accidents can occur due to caregiver negligence, understaffing, or mechanical failures. In some cases, residents are injured by other residents who may at times become violent.
As a general rule, however, a nursing home owes its residents a duty to provide a level of care that is reasonable based on nursing home industry standards and the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act.
Among other things, nursing home managers can be held liable for injuries caused to residents if they:
- Do not properly train employees
- Negligently hire employees
- Don’t have sufficient staff
- Fails to monitor employees
- Fails to provide adequate security
Caregivers can be held liable for injuries to residents if, among other things, they:
- Intentionally injure a resident
- Fail to provide medical attention
- Fail to provide food and water or proper hygiene
- Fail to provide a critical service to resident
Other residents who injure someone may also be held liable. In addition, maintenance staff may be liable for accidents caused by the failure to properly maintain the facilities.
All in all, determining nursing home liability depends on the facts of your case and can be complicated. But with the assistance of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, you can seek justice for your injured loved ones.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Our attorneys are here to right wrongs and help injured individuals obtain the legal redress and compensation they deserve. If you have concerns for your loved one in a nursing home, contact us here or call our firm at 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.