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Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Neglect?

If you have an elder loved one in a nursing home, their health and security is your utmost concern. Regulations can only do so much to ensure quality care, because inspections are few and far between, and enforcement often comes only after nursing home residents have been subjected to abuse or neglect. Fortunately, residents of a nursing home have the right to sue in civil court for harm they’ve suffered, and the threat of a lawsuit is often their first line of defense against negligent care and outright abuse.

Common injuries elders sustain due to nursing home neglect include:

  • Bedsores
  • Bruising
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Fall injuries
  • Infections
  • Malnutrition

When the nursing home workers neglect residents, those elders are subjected to unhygienic conditions that easily breed disease. Many don’t get enough food, drink or exercise, so they fail to thrive. Negligent staff members can make mistakes with medications, further jeopardizing your loved one’s health.

Nursing home residents are often unable to help themselves. They need the relatives who love them to visit them often, pick up clues about possible neglect, and advocate for them. We suggest varying the day and time you visit, so staff does not know when you are coming, and you can observe how different staff members attend to their duties. Be sure to bring your concerns directly to management. It’s also very helpful to keep a journal of your visits and all your exchanges with the nursing home personnel.

Too often, nursing home management attributes a resident’s depression or lack of energy to the inevitable decline of old age. When faced with management’s indifference to suspicious circumstances, you need to become more vigilant and assertive in your advocacy for your loved one. This should include contacting an elder law attorney and describing the situation.

If your loved one suffers harm due to neglect, a lawsuit is possible. In some cases, nursing home residents can recover punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. Your record of your visits can help establish a pattern of neglect leading to injury.

The experienced personal injury attorneys of Crane Flores, LLP can help you address issues of nursing home abuse and neglect. Call us today at (805) 628-4967 or contact our offices online to schedule a free consultation.