Question: My dad lives in a nursing home in Philadelphia. How can I prove that the nursing home was negligent?
Answer: Many individuals with loved ones in a nursing home may suspect abuse or neglect, but often feel they don’t have any way to prove their suspicions. This is especially true in cases when a loved one is unable to communicate due to a disability or Alzheimer’s/dementia. Therefore, if you suspect neglect or abuse, the first step is to voice your concern and file a report.
Related: Suspect Abuse/Neglect in a Pennsylvania Nursing Home? Here’s What You Should Do
Proving negligence in a nursing home accident/neglect case requires evidence which shows that the nursing home failed to take appropriate action or took action that it should not have. The reality is that most nursing home injury lawsuits involve the failure to perform a duty, i.e., failing to do something it should have done.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home setting, it is vital to speak to a lawyer to discuss your options and the best way to proceed. A nursing home injury lawyer will discuss the viability of the case and how to prove negligence.
Below is a discussion of how to prove negligence in four main types of nursing home neglect situations: falls, medical negligence/mistakes, negligent supervision and physical/sexual abuse.
Nursing Home Fall Accidents
Nursing homes will be liable for fall accidents when there is evidence that a nursing employee failed to perform their duties. Liability is common in bed fall accidents, wheelchair fall accidents and other fall down accidents. In fall accidents, negligence is commonly proved with evidence of nursing home employee staff shortages, medical records/charts, internal policies and procedures, etc.
Nursing Home Medical Malpractice
Many nursing home injury cases involve malpractice, i.e., negligence in the treatment or care of a medical condition. In nursing home medical negligence or malpractice cases, the only way to prove negligence is to have the case reviewed by a lawyer. The lawyer will order copies of all relevant medical records and discuss the case with a medical expert.
Nursing Homes & Negligent Supervision
Negligent supervision claims are very common in a nursing home injury case. Nursing homes often fail to provide reasonable supervision due to staff shortages and/or failure to provide proper care for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Residents who wander and become injured may have valid negligence claims against the nursing home. Evidence of negligence in this type of situation usually includes internal procedures/policies related to resident check-ups, staff rosters, and investigation into security measures and whether they failed.
Nursing Home Assaults
Nursing home abuse is a sad, but common reality. Physical abuse and sexual assault is committed by nursing home employees as well as fellow residents. Nursing homes may be liable for failing to protect residents from predators. Nursing home employee records, resident records, staff records, etc., will be necessary to prove negligence in allowing a resident to be assaulted.
Related: Nursing Home Abuse in Pennsylvania: A Sad, but Real Reality
If you or a loved one was the victim of neglect or abuse at a nursing home or long term care facility, please contact our office to arrange a free consultation with our PA and NJ nursing home abuse/neglect lawyers. (215) 985-0777
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