The decision to put a loved one into a nursing home is never easy. However, when it is time for them to make the move, you hope and expect that they will be treated with care and respect. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse in nursing homes and care facilities is common throughout the state.
Whether due to careless staff behavior, negligence, or malicious intent, the practices of nursing facilities can lead to residents suffering severe harm and even death. If your loved one was hurt while residing at a nursing home, you should reach out to a Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Every nursing home has an obligation to give residents appropriate and reasonable care. In fact, there are federal and state laws and regulations that protect the safety and welfare of these residents. Therefore, when the practices of a nursing home or the actions—or inaction—of nursing staff are neglectful, reckless, or malicious, there may be legal grounds for a civil lawsuit on the basis of negligence. However, it is important to understand the kinds of abuse that happen within care facilities, so that a person can be on the lookout for signs.
If the negligent practices of a care facility are to blame, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages and hold the at-fault parties to blame. By enlisting the services of a skilled injury attorney, you could rest assured that a legal professional is by your side.
Unfortunately, the forms of neglect and abuse within nursing homes is extensive, as are the potential injuries that can result. These include, but are not limited to:
Many of these conditions are due to the abuse and neglect of the resident by the staff. Serious injury and harm often results including fractures and broken bones, infections, and illness requiring hospitalization. In the worst cases, a resident will die to the negligence of the facility.
Reasons for Neglectful Practices
As mentioned above, abuse in a nursing home may be the result of understaffing. However, there are various measures that a nursing home still must take to ensure their residents are safe and comfortable. Examples of these practices being neglected include a failure to:
- Turn or move an immobile patient
- Bathe residents
- Supervise patients in baths and showers
- Monitor nutrition and hydration
- Properly use bed rails
- Train staff properly
- Stop patients from wandering away
Any of these or similar acts could form the basis for a civil lawsuit. However, gathering the evidence of abuse within a nursing home needed to build a claim might take the experience of a Michigan attorney.
Proving Negligence in Nursing Homes
Suing a Michigan nursing home for abuse or neglect requires more than simply showing that a resident suffered an injury or harm at the facility. To win a nursing home lawsuit in Michigan, you must prove that:
- That the care or treatment provided was below the acceptable standard of care for nursing home care. This means that the facility failed to provide the required treatment, care, and monitoring to the resident that would be expected in a licensed nursing care home.,
- That the negligence of the nursing home staff caused injury, harm, or death to the resident
- The resident (or estate) suffered quantifiable harm as a result of the medical malpractice, which would include pain and suffering, disability, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and other economic harm.
The nursing home will rarely, if ever, admit that it provided substandard care to the resident. We hire nursing home expert witnesses, including nurses and physicians, to review the records and provide opinions on why the facility was negligent in caring for the injured resident. This testimony is an essential part of winning a nursing home neglect lawsuit.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
A claim for compensation for nursing home neglect and maltreatment includes both economic and non-economic losses. One of the primary damages included in many claims is the payment for needed medical treatment and associated medical costs—such as rehabilitation and physical therapy. Furthermore, other damages include payment for pain and suffering, fright and shock and loss of enjoyment of life.
For cases involving wrongful death of the resident, settlements include compensation for pain and suffering from the time of injury until death, the loss of society and companionship to family members, the amount of medical expenses, and payment of funeral and burial expenses. The judge will determine the settlement shares for each individual family member if they cannot agree on the amount of the share for each person. These damages are not calculated at a precise dollar amount and are usually determined based upon other similar cases in the community as well as the skill and experience of your lawyer.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim Against a Care Facility
Anyone pursuing compensation through a civil lawsuit should be aware of the deadlines for filing a claim against a care facility. This is known as the statute of limitations. In Michigan, claims against a licensed nursing home must generally be filed within two years of the date of the incident. The period can be extended up to five years in cases involving the death of the resident. There are other procedural requirements with strict time deadlines as well.
As a result, it is essential to contact an experienced Michigan lawyer to begin your investigation immediately. The deadlines are very strict and the failure to timely file a case will prevent you from bringing it in the future.
How a Michigan Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Could Help
If your loved one was injured while living in a nursing home, you should call our Michigan nursing home abuse lawyers to discuss your legal options. Our award-winning attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. will determine if you have a case and discuss your legal options. The phone call is free and there are never any legal fees or costs until you win a settlement.
Michigan Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Resources