The most common reason for nursing home abuse is neglect. Neglect is a failure to provide adequate care for a resident’s needs, including food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Some nursing home abuse cases involve physical abuse or sexual assault by staff members. It can be challenging to determine who is responsible for the abuse and how much money one should receive for damages.
Multiple parties can be liable for the damages that result from a person’s injuries; even if one party was not directly responsible for causing the harm, they might be liable for its effects. When elderly fall accident attorneys are involved in a nursing home abuse case, they may be able to help the victim recover compensation for their medical expenses and other damages.
The following are some examples of the types of parties involved in nursing home abuse cases:
Facility or Nursing Home – The facility itself may be liable for your injuries if it was negligent in its care. This can include negligence in hiring and retaining staff members, including nurses and doctors, inadequate staffing levels and employee training, or failure to follow policies or protocols designed to protect residents from harm.
Nursing Home Administrator – A nursing home administrator is usually an individual with authority over all aspects of the facility’s operations. They are typically responsible for ensuring compliance with state law and that residents receive adequate care and treatment. If they fail in this duty, they could be liable for any damages caused by such failure.
Staff members – Nursing homes have staff members who have direct contact with residents; this includes nurses, therapists, and other caregivers. If one of these employees does something wrong to cause injury, they can be held personally liable for their actions.
By a resident – If another resident assaulted your loved one at the facility, the other resident could be held liable for damages related to physical injury or emotional distress caused by the assault.
The following are some things to consider when multiple parties may be liable in your case:
Report to the authorities
If you suspect that your loved one has been mistreated in a nursing home facility, you should take steps to protect them from further harm. The first step is to report the incident to the appropriate authorities — either the local police or state officials to initiate an investigation.
Contact a lawyer
When this happens, it’s essential to make sure you have an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer on your side to help you navigate the complicated legal system and get the best possible outcome for your case.
Keep track of each defendant’s liability
Keep track of where your loved one’s injuries occurred, which nursing home employee was responsible, and whether there were witnesses to the abuse. That will help you determine which defendants’ actions caused the injury and how much each should pay.
Know when your claim is joint and several
A joint and several claims mean that all defendants are liable for 100 percent of the damages, even if only one is responsible for causing them.
If your loved one gets injured at a nursing home while being bathed by an unlicensed aide but also has dementia (which makes them more vulnerable to injury), they may be able to sue both parties together in a single lawsuit under a joint and several liability theory. If this happens, both parties would be responsible for paying 100 percent of her damages regardless of who caused them.