Can I Sue the Individual Caregiver or the Nursing Home Company for Abuse or Neglect?

In 1986, a Congressional committee on medicine conducted a study and found that the elderly residents of nursing homes were regularly being abused and neglected at their nursing homes. In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act, which provides the standards for nursing home care and protects the finding for elderly care through Medicare and Medicaid. When there is a claim of negligence against a nursing home for medical malpractice, a nursing home neglect lawyer at our law firm will refer to this legislation, as well as the Patient Bill of Rights that is a part of this document, in assessing the validity of the claim.

Nursing home staff and administration are bound by the Nursing Home Reform Act to provide a level of care that is reasonable according to standards written in the bill. When a patient is found to have been neglected or abused under these regulations both the nursing company and the individual caregivers can be found negligent in carrying out their duty as defined by law. The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. are well aware of these rules and regulations, and they can guide you if filing a claim.

Responsibilities of the Nursing Home

Nursing homes provide shelter, food, medical care, and hygiene to the patients and residents of the facility. They must maintain the level of care specified under the provisions of the Reform Act, and if the patient is injured or harmed in any way the nursing home can be found negligent.

The lawsuits will investigate such things as the negligent hiring and firing of nursing home staff and whether there were appropriate background checks made on these individuals. The nursing home is also responsible for training the staff and monitoring the staff to make sure that practices and procedures are followed.

Intentional and unintentional abuse of residents by staff, including physical and emotional harm is often a cause of neglect, and there must be systems of evaluation in place to control these instances. Security of patient living areas, safety in moving about the facility, and the maintenance of medical equipment like wheelchairs is also a responsibility of the nursing home.

Responsibilities of Caregivers

In a traditional nursing home environment a patient will interact with many trained caregivers who are responsible for the patient’s well-being. These can include nursing staff, maintenance staff, other residents, and visitors. Any of these people have the opportunity to cause harm or abuse to a patient, and if they do, then they can be held accountable.

Nurses and caregivers are responsible for providing the patient with medical care and general hygiene care. If a patient is not fed properly, loses weight, or develops bed sores because they are not turned often enough then a nurse or caregiver can be found negligent. If a caregiver intentionally harms a patient, then both the caregiver and the nursing home are responsible.

Other residents and visitors have access to the patient residing in the nursing home. The nursing home has the right to expect that these people will respect the safety and integrity of the patient at all times. Any abuse, either physical or emotional, cannot be tolerated.

Finally, the maintenance staff is responsible for keeping the living environment safe from all hazards that could cause injury to the patients. They must keep spills cleaned up to prevent slipping, and they must make sure that all hallways and stairways are free of any debris or foreign material.

Final Word

If there is an instance where a resident of a nursing home is abused or injured, both the nursing home and the individual caregiver responsible for the resident can be sued. At the Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we are prepared with the knowledge and experience with nursing home litigation to assist you in your claim. Contact us at Cochranlaw.com, or call us at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

Tristan is a professional writer and had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher’s union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.

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