Nursing Home Abuse: A Look at Liability

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March 21, 2018 - Nursing Home Abuse

In cases of nursing home abuse, victims are often affected in profound ways. Abuse can be fatal or can cause serious physical harm to occur.  Even seniors who are victimized by verbal or emotional abuse experience an increased risk of death compared with those who are not mistreated by caregivers.

Abuse can happen anywhere, whether seniors are taken care of by family members, by home healthcare aides, or in a nursing home. Unfortunately, abuse in a nursing home setting is very common – especially as many nursing homes are now owned by national for-profit organizations with little or no connections in communities in which the care facilities operate.

If you or someone you love is victimized by nursing home abuse, it is important to know what your rights are. This means knowing who is legally responsible under the law for providing compensation for abuse that occurs.  The Villages nursing home abuse lawyers can provide you with help understanding who can be held liable for abuse, so give us a call today.

Who is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse?

When nursing home abuse is perpetrated, it usually occurs because individual staff members behave in inappropriate ways. These staff members, depending upon the specifics of their conduct, could face criminal charges for their actions. 

For seniors seeking compensation for abuse, pursuing a claim against individual staff members is often not the best course of action because these staff members may have no insurance and limited funding to provide compensation for damages. Instead, it can make sense for those who wish to pursue a claim for nursing home abuse to take action against the care facility itself. 

Nursing homes can be held responsible on the basis of their own negligence. This can occur, for example, if the care facility was understaffed because the nursing home did not hire enough people to provide adequate care for residents.  If the nursing home failed to conduct background checks on staff members and hired people with a history of abusive behavior, this could also result in the care facility being liable for losses due to its own negligence.

Even if the nursing home itself did not engage in negligent conduct, the care facility could also be held liable for the actions of employees who were on duty.  Employees who work for nursing care facilities can be considered to be agents of the care facility while they are doing their jobs. As a result, if an employee behaves in an inappropriate or negligent way, the company can be responsible for the damage done by this conduct because the agent acts on the facility's behalf.

To determine if a nursing home can be held accountable and made to pay damages, you should reach out to The Villages nursing home abuse lawyers. An attorney can help you to prove the care facility should be held responsible for your losses so you can maximize the chances of obtaining full compensation.  You should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible for help in determining if the home is liable and in taking legal action.