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Nursing Home Negligence: Can You File a Suit?

When you are caring for an elderly loved one, you want to do whatever you can to make their life better. While you want to take care of all of their needs, the reality may be that you are unable to give them the supervision and care they need in this stage of life due to their health or your obligations to your family. So, you turn to a nursing home or residential care facility to give your loved one the proper attention. 

Today, more than one million residents are in nursing homes nationwide. Most of these patients receive excellent care and have comfort and peace in the final chapter of their life. However, some fail to meet government and industry standards, resulting in harm. If you believe your loved one has been neglected or injured due to staff negligence, keep reading to learn more about what you can do to help them recover and find a better living situation. 

Three Essential Expectations of Care: What Is Nursing Home Negligence?

When your loved one moves into a nursing home, here are three standards they should expect. 

  1. Protective oversight is an essential awareness of and ability to intervene on behalf of the patient. The staff at a nursing home is also in charge of many daily necessities like nutrition, medication and hygiene. 
  2. Appropriately trained and qualified staff should implement protective oversight for your loved one. These individuals should be thoroughly trained and educated. 
  3. Clean facilities that meet state requirements are essential to the health and well-being of your loved one. While this may seem obvious, sadly, there are too many examples of facilities being left to deteriorate over time.

Staff members, managers and facility operators have a duty of care to oversee and fulfill these standards. When they don’t, it’s considered negligent and can be classified as neglect in extreme cases. Some examples of negligence you may see include:

  • Allowing a resident to injure themself by falling
  • Leaving a resident in their room or bed for too long
  • Not treating injuries and illnesses promptly
  • Neglecting to give them proper hygiene, food or water

Unfortunately, there are examples of this nursing home negligence in Missouri and nationwide. Regardless of the excuse, your loved one deserves proper care and dignity in their residential care facility. 

What Is the Difference Between Neglect and Nursing Home Abuse?

While neglect and abuse are illegal, the level of criminality of each can vary. Nursing home abuse is considered more violent and intentional, while neglect falls on the side of negligence, as nursing home staff failed to show the proper level of care. If you notice that your loved one is showing signs of abuse or neglect, it’s imperative for you to contact the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services immediately. This link will send you to their online reporting tool. You can also call their Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-0210.

Reporting Your Loved One’s Neglect: When Should I Do It?

Again, if you notice that your loved one is showing signs of neglect or has been injured due to the negligence of the nursing home staff, the nursing home should have a system for filing complaints and a designee to handle any complaints. 

You want to do your due diligence as an advocate for your loved one to make sure the complaint is filed as soon as possible. Filing a complaint should establish a baseline of evidence for your loved one if civil action is required. A complaint allows the facility an opportunity to conduct its own investigation of the situation and offer a remedy. If the department refuses to investigate or doesn’t offer a proper remedy for your loved one’s situation, it may be a good idea to talk with a personal injury lawyer.

Give Your Loved One the Care They Deserve

If your loved one has suffered an injury or illness due to the negligence of their care staff, talking with a personal injury lawyer can be a great place to start on their journey back to recovery. After all, your loved one should be able to live out the last chapter of their life with comfort and dignity, and you should have peace of mind knowing they are in good hands. They don’t have to suffer because of someone else’s lack of care or competence. 

Contact a personal injury attorney at Eng & Woods Attorneys at Law today to see how we can help. Our team of experienced legal experts can help you navigate the difficult path to recovery from personal injury, auto accidents and work injury. To meet our full team, visit our Attorney Profiles page to learn more. To see how we’ve helped others recover vital funds for their recovery, visit our verdicts and settlements page.

Don’t wait. We want to help you fight for your loved one, too. Give us a call today. 

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