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If it can be demonstrated that a nursing home or its employees have acted negligently, they may be held liable for any resulting damages. Damages available in a nursing home abuse lawsuit may include medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability. Missouri and Illinois also allow for punitive damages, which are intended to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct; however, these are only awarded in rare cases.
The following may be grounds for filing a nursing home abuse claim:
Nursing homes have an obligation to their residents to hire personnel who
are properly qualified, have the requisite academic degrees for the position
for which they are hired, and have no history of abuse. When a nursing
home fails to perform background checks and residents are hurt as a result,
the nursing home may be found liable.
A report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that the average staff to resident ratio is 1 staff member to every 1.64 residents. When a nursing home is understaffed, residents can become vulnerable to neglect because staff members can’t spend an adequate amount of time with each resident. Additionally, the low staff-to-resident ratio causes more work for staff members who may not be compensated for how much work they are required to do. This can lead to stress in staff members, often causing a loss of morale and compassion. Nursing homes can be found liable if a resident suffers an injury or dies as a result of the failure to have an adequate number of caretakers.
In some cases, nursing home employees are not properly trained to work with disabled or unruly residents and do not provide the level of care required by law and expected by a family. Nursing homes can be held accountable when inadequate training of their staff leads to the injury of a patient.
Third Party Responsibility Claim
Nursing homes have an obligation to protect their residents, and therefore, can be found liable for the acts of third parties within the residence. For instance, if a resident is injured by another resident or a guest of another resident, the nursing home can be found liable if they failed to provide adequate security to prevent such an incident.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to see that proper medication and doses are administered to residents as prescribed. When there is a prescription drug error that injures a patient, this may allow the victim and their family to sue the negligent party. The origin of a medication error could be the prescribing physician, the pharmacy or pharmacist, or the nursing home.
Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs
Because signs of nursing home abuse are sometimes dismissed as indicators of old age or dementia, it is important that loved ones recognize the signs of mistreatment in a residence. There are several types of nursing home abuse, each with their own set of symptoms that may indicate that a resident is being abused. If you suspect that a loved one was a victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Nursing Home Neglect, please contact our St. Louis Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer for a free consultation.