When older family members cannot continue living on their own, many of us entrust nursing homes to care for them and provide them with a safe, welcoming living environment. Most nursing homes prove themselves worthy of this trust, but sometimes, negligence in nursing homes can result in serious or even fatal injuries to residents.
If your loved one was injured in a nursing home due to negligence, you may have grounds for legal action against the facility. At the Cottle Firm, our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers represents families affected by nursing home negligence. Contact us today at 702-722-6111 to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence or neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to meet the basic needs of residents or creates a hazardous condition that puts residents at risk of preventable injuries.
Negligence is a broad legal concept that applies when one party owes a duty of care to another and fails to meet this duty, resulting in an injury. Nursing homes owe a duty of care to their residents and must meet the needs of all residents and ensure that the environment is safe for all residents, staff members, and visitors. If staff members fail to meet this duty of care and someone suffers physical or emotional harm, the nursing home could be considered negligent.
Nursing home negligence is different from nursing home abuse, which is another common problem affecting the elderly and their families across the country. Negligence typically involves harm caused by inaction or careless mistakes, while abuse involves intentional harm.
Common Forms of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence comes in many forms and can have major consequences for the physical and mental health of nursing home residents. Below are some of the most common types of nursing home negligence our Las Vegas elder abuse lawyers see in our cases.
A nursing home may be liable for medical negligence if the medical standard of care provided to residents falls below an acceptable level, resulting in harm or injury. Some common examples of medical negligence in nursing homes include:
- Failure to provide necessary medical attention
- Improper administration of medications
- Neglecting to follow safety protocols, leading to accidents or worsened medical conditions
Proper oversight, regular medical assessments, and adherence to established protocols are all essential for preventing such accidents and medical issues and ensuring the well-being and safety of residents.
Nursing homes have a legal and moral obligation to address the emotional needs of their residents. Failure to do so may lead to feelings of isolation, neglect, or distress among residents. Emotional negligence often arises from inadequate staff training, insufficient social engagement, or a lack of empathy in caregiving practices.
Emotionally neglected residents may be at a higher risk of deteriorating mental health, depression, or anxiety. Compassionate care, fostering a supportive environment, and promoting meaningful interactions can all enhance residents’ emotional well-being and overall quality of life.
Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to meet the fundamental personal needs of residents, such as aiding with daily activities, hygiene, mobility, and nutrition. This can lead to severe repercussions for residents, such as:
- Bedsores from prolonged immobility
- Falls due to insufficient assistance
- Health decline due to malnutrition and dehydration
Nursing home neglect victims and their families may have grounds for legal action if the neglect leads to physical or emotional harm.
Negligent Hiring and Supervision
Nursing homes have a legal duty to hire competent staff and adequately monitor their conduct to ensure the well-being of residents. Negligent hiring and supervision can result in residents receiving care from unqualified individuals, leading to substandard treatment and potential harm.
Insufficient supervision may lead to preventable accidents, inadequate care, and a general decline in the quality of life for residents. Effective hiring practices, training, and supervision are all vital in ensuring the safety and well-being of residents.
Common Injuries Caused by Nursing Home Negligence
Older adults are at a higher risk of certain types of injuries, such as falls and serious infections. Families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes to ensure that they have enough care and supervision to reduce the risk of these and other injuries and health conditions. But sadly, some nursing home residents suffer preventable injuries due to negligence.
Here are some of the most common injuries our nursing home negligence lawyers have seen in our cases.
Bed Rail Injuries
Bed rails are used to protect elderly and disabled persons from falls. However, they must be used with appropriate caution and oversight, as improper use can be a significant hazard.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) both have reported receiving numerous death and injury reports for accidents involving bed rails. These reports included mainly included falls, entrapment, and suffocation.
Nursing home staff must ensure that bed rails are used safely to avoid exposing their residents to the risk of bed rail injuries.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, can develop from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedridden and wheelchair-bound nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to bedsores. These painful wounds often occur due to inadequate repositioning or negligent care.
In severe cases, bedsores can lead to infections, tissue damage, and other complications. Nursing home staff must be adequately trained on how to prevent bedsores and ensure that their residents receive the care they need to minimize their risk.
The elderly are more vulnerable to severe infections than the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1 million and 3 million infections occur each year in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing facilities.
Infections can spread quickly in nursing homes due to close living quarters and the compromised immune systems of many residents. These infections can arise from negligence in the norm of inadequate hygiene practices, insufficient staff training, or contaminated medical equipment.
Nursing Home Negligence FAQs
What Are Some Common Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence?
In some cases, nursing home residents may not be able to let loved ones know that they are suffering due to negligence. Families should be aware of the common warning signs of negligence, which include:
- Unexplained injuries or bruises
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sudden weight loss
- Untreated medical conditions
- Sudden mood changes
If you believe that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home negligence, discuss the matter with them, document signs of negligence, file a report with the nursing home, and consider speaking with an experienced elder abuse lawyer.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Nursing Home Negligence in Nevada?
When a nursing home resident suffers an injury, illness, or health complication due to negligence, one or more parties could potentially be held liable in a personal injury claim.
Most claims are filed against the nursing home itself. Common grounds for a personal injury claim against a nursing home include hazardous conditions, negligent hiring, training, or supervision, neglectful medical care and health monitoring, and intentional harm by staff.
In some cases, a third party could be held liable for an injury suffered in a nursing home. This is the case when the injury was caused by a defective product or piece of equipment. In this example, the manufacturer of the defective product could be held liable for damages.
Learn More From Our Las Vegas Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
When a nursing home allows a resident to suffer a preventable injury or illness due to negligence, that resident and their family have legal rights. Nursing homes have a legal duty to ensure the safety of all residents and these facilities may be held liable when they fail to meet that legal duty.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence, you can learn more about your family’s legal rights by contacting the Cottle Firm’s Las Vegas nursing home negligence lawyers at 702-722-6111.
Related: Las Vegas Nursing Home Wrongful Death