Category Archives: Nursing Abuse

Lonely senior in nursing home
Nursing Abuse

As we age, we often rely on care facilities such as nursing homes to provide the support and comfort we need. But not all nursing homes live up to their promise, and some can become a tragic breeding ground for abuse, neglect, and the violation of our loved ones’ legal rights. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle it alone. You always have the option to reach out to an experienced attorney to determine what your rights are and what compensation you and your loved one may be able to pursue through a nursing home neglect lawsuit.

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect refers to situations where residents don’t receive adequate care from the nursing facility or caregivers, meaning the expected standard of care is not being met. The first thing you need to know is how to spot nursing home neglect. Some common examples and signs include the following:

Unusually rapid weight loss: If there is no reasonable expectation for weight loss, this can be an indicator of malnutrition and dehydration, which can come from neglect or abuse.

Poor hygiene: Signs of poor hygiene like dirty clothing and unwashed hair can suggest that a nursing home resident isn’t being properly cared for by staff.

Recurrent injuries: Recurrent injuries suggest that a person is repeatedly getting hurt. This could mean that an elderly resident isn’t receiving necessary assistance required in carrying out daily routines or in severe cases, it could even be a sign of intentional abuse brought on by caregivers.

In some cases, the injuries may be completely unrelated to abuse or neglect, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for these and do your due diligence.

Depression: Depression among the elderly in nursing homes can be a sign of neglect or abuse. It often manifests when individuals don’t receive adequate physical and emotional support, interaction, or stimulation from caregivers and their environment.

While depression doesn’t always stem from neglect or abuse, it’s still something to watch out for.

What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect

If suspicions arise about nursing home neglect, action should be taken immediately. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Call 911 If Necessary

First, if the situation poses immediate danger or a life-threatening health risk for your loved one, dial 911 right away. Wait for police to arrive and let them create a police report.

Report Neglect To The Facility

Next, report the neglect internally to the caregiving facility. This could mean bringing the issue to human resources or higher-up supervisors and administration.

Gather Evidence

Another important step you should take is to gather as much evidence as possible to substantiate your claim. This includes taking photos of any injuries or physical evidence of neglect or abuse, writing down all signs and symptoms that concern you and when and where they occurred, and gather all existing medical records.

Contact an Attorney

Finally, reach out to an experienced attorney who is well-versed in nursing home neglect laws and personal injury cases. They can help you collect evidence and continue talks with the facility where your loved one is. A lawyer can also help you recover compensation in many instances.

Proving Nursing Home Neglect

Proving nursing home neglect requires establishing the following four elements of negligence

Duty of Care

The first thing you need to prove is that the nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care. Every care facility has legal obligation to provide a standard of care to residents. This means they’re responsible for ensuring individuals’ basic needs are met while maintaining their safety and well-being.

Breach of Duty

Next, you must demonstrate that the facility breached their duty of care. Breach in a nursing home context refers to a situation where the care facility fails to meet its obligation or duty of care towards its residents. Examples include neglecting a resident’s basic hygiene needs, failing to provide adequate nutrition and hydration, and incorrectly administering prescribed medications.

Proximate Causation

You must also prove causation, meaning you have to present evidence of how the neglect from the nursing home proximately caused your loved one’s injuries.  


Finally, you must show that your loved one’s injuries led to identifiable damages.  This could include economic impacts such as medical expenses, or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. 

If you can establish these four elements, you may be successful in obtaining financial restitution via a nursing home neglect case.

Nursing Home Neglect Liability

Liability for nursing home neglect can fall upon various parties. Most often, the nursing home facility itself is held responsible. Additionally, a specific staff member (or multiple staff members) could also be liable especially if their actions directly led to an injury. 

Compensation Recovered in Nursing Home Neglect Cases

All cases are unique depending on the specific circumstances, but there are various forms of compensation that are often recovered in a nursing home neglect case. These include the following:

Medical Expenses: This includes reimbursement for any costs incurred to treat injuries or health conditions resulting from the negligence. Examples include hospital bills, medications, physical therapy, surgeries, and anything else required to treat the injury.

Pain and Suffering: In many cases, your loved one may be eligible for damages resulting from physical pain and suffering. This refers to the physical pain or discomfort endured as a result of an accident or injury. It’s not just about immediate agony but also factors in chronic issues which might linger long after incident has taken place.

Emotional Distress: Emotional distress, on the other hand, encompasses mental trauma prompted by the events. Emotional challenges like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) fall under this category when those conditions can be linked directly back to the accident.

Punitive Damages: In cases where the nursing home’s conduct was particularly egregious, a court may award punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.

It’s important to note that punitive damages are rarely awarded, and typically only occur in severe cases where the conduct was extremely egregious or intentional.

Consult With a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is a crucial decision for those pursuing a nursing home neglect claim. A skilled attorney can help navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. They will take the steps necessary to give you the best chance at success with the claim.