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Nursing Home & Patient Abuse

Are your loved ones suffering from nursing abuse or neglect in a retirement home, hospital, or mental health facility?

When you leave a beloved family member or friend in the care of a medical institution, you assume they’re going to be taken care of just like they were still at home. Yet so many facilities abuse the patients and residents in their care – a recent study showed that as many as one in every three nursing homes have had reported cases of abuse.

If you believe your loved ones have been the victim of nursing home or patient abuse, the nursing home may be held liable for any resulting damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and even disfigurement and disability.

Michigan Nursing Home Abuse Cases

If you or a loved one have suffered any of the following examples of nursing home abuse, you may have grounds for filing a claim for the resulting damages:

Negligent Hiring

Like any other medical care center, nursing homes and physical therapy centers have an obligation to hire properly qualified personnel. Proper training and education are key, as well as a clean criminal record with no history of abuse. If a nursing home fails to perform a proper background check on a new employee and the result is residents being abused or mistreated, the nursing home may be found liable for their lax hiring practices.

Understaffed Facilities

Nursing homes suffer from a shortage in staffing worse than many other professions, with the Center for Disease Control reporting the average staff-to-resident ratio is 1 worker for every 1.64 residents. This staff shortage can lead to neglected residents who aren’t receiving adequate attention and care since the workers aren’t able to spend enough time with each resident, as well as increased stress among workers which can develop into stress or a decrease in compassion. If a resident is injured or killed due to a lack of care from an adequate number of caretakers, the nursing home may be held liable.

Inadequate Training

Even if a facility has the proper staffing levels they may not be able to spend enough time to properly train each of their new employees on how to deal with crisis situations such as unruly residents, the needs of disabled residents, or major health issues such as cardiac arrest or stroke. If inadequate staff training leads to the death, disability, or injury of a resident, the nursing home can be held accountable for damages.

Third-Party Responsibility

Part of a nursing home’s obligation to its residents is the responsibility to protect them from the actions of third parties within the residence. If a resident is injured by another resident, or a guest, the nursing home can be found liable if adequate safety was not provided in the facility.

Breach of Privacy Rights

Also known as a breach of statutory or regulatory rights, nursing homes have a responsibility to uphold the autonomy, dignity, and privacy of their residents. If an employee violates these rights either intentionally or through negligence, the nursing home may be found liable for any resulting damages.

Severe Bedsores

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin causing the skin to weaken, and may lead to severe and permanent damage to the skin, surrounding tissue, and even exposed bone or muscle if left untreated. Most commonly found among people that have a hard time changing positions such as anyone who needs a wheelchair to get around or anyone who needs to remain bedridden for hours at a time, bedsores are easily preventable by attentive staff coming to help nursing home residents move around to avoid remaining stationary. However, if a staff isn’t properly trained to the prevention of bedsores or if they are negligent in their care and duties, bedsores can easily develop and worsen for many nursing home residents. If a resident develops severe bedsores due to the negligence of the staff, the nursing home may be held responsible for any resulting damages.

Broken Bones

Broken bones can happen to anyone from trips, falls, and so on, but the risk is especially high for nursing home patients due to their health conditions. Accidents can happen, but if your loved has suffered a broken bone due to an improper transfer from wheelchair or bed by nursing home staff or any negligence on the part of of a nursing home employee, you may be able to take a claim against the nursing home to pay for damages.

Medication Errors

One of the greatest responsibilities a nursing home could have is to make sure the proper medication in the proper dose are given to their residents, exactly as prescribed. Errors in dosage or medication schedule can result in severe illness, injury, or even death in some cases, and it is up to the nursing home to ensure the correct medication is given. If a prescription drug error injures or kills a patient, the victim and their family may be able to sue the negligent party – this could be the nursing home or even the prescribing physician.

We Can Help

If you or someone you love has been the victim of these or any other kind of nursing home abuse, contact The Mike Morse Law Firm for a consultation on your Michigan nursing home abuse case today.