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Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

Fighting Resident Negligence in Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facilities

As relatives age and require more medical attention it’s common to turn to nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the care your loved one requires and deserves. Since residents of these facilities require high levels of attention and care, the operators and health care providers at these facilities are held to a high standard. It is a sad fact that these facilities sometimes fail our loved ones out of negligence or malpractice. Negligence is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This is a form of medical malpractice, and is punishable by law.

Nursing home negligence lawyers from the Snyder Law Group, LLC, are well versed in cases involving nursing home negligence and assisted living facility neglect. We leave no rock unturned when reviewing all medical records associated with your loved one’s care in order to determine what happened. Our attorney’s experience with nursing home neglect cases will help counsel your family through this trying time.

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Common Types of Elder Negligence

The duty of care lies on nursing home workers. These health care providers must take reasonable actions to protect residents from foreseeable injury, or may be held liable for medical malpractice if they breach this duty of care.

Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Can Include:

  • Neglect
  • Wrongful Death
  • Medical Mistakes
  • Failure to Diagnose
  • Failure to Provide Medical Care

Although it varies from state to state, in Maryland negligence or negligence of a resident can be defined as any physical, sexual, mental, or verbal mistreatment. The improper use of restraints, medications, or seclusion also qualify as nursing home or assisted living facility negligence.

FAQ on Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility Negligence

What is the Difference Between a Nursing Home and an Assisted Living Facility?

The main difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is in the level of care required by the residents. In nursing homes residents often need around the clock care and assistance performing the activities of daily life. These residences are staffed by skilled nurses and nurse’s aide available at all hours to assist residents. A common misconceptions is that nursing homes are solely for the elderly when in fact these facilities provide rehabilitation to those who have experienced a significant accident or illness.

The residents of assisted living facilities aren’t quite able to live independently, but do not require specialized care 24/7. Socialization and recreation opportunities are provided for residents of assisted living facilities. Unlike nursing homes, which are usually subject to uniform regulations, assisted living facility regulation can vary greatly from state to state.

What Are the Responsibilities of Facility Staff and Care Providers?

Since nursing home residents require around the clock care, caregivers working in these residences are required to provide care at all hours. Their duties and responsibilities are strongly regulated by both state and federal law. Even though laws vary from state to state, every facility must have a registered nurse (RN) on staff to serve as the director of nursing.

Facilities are also required to employ a number of certified nursing assistants (CNA). These caregivers help residents perform everyday tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, eating, and managing medications. State nursing board licensing is required for all staff members.

Here in the state of Maryland, the staff’s duties depend on the level of care for which that facility is licensed. There are three levels of care that dictate the duties of a facilities staff.

  • “Low Level of Care”: Facilities who accept this type of resident are required to provide occasional assistance with medication and daily living functions, as well as providing occasional access to social and recreational services.
  • “Moderate Level of Care”: Providers of this level of care are expected to administer necesary medication and treatment, ensure access to necessary health services and interventions, and provide substantial support with two or more activities of daily living.
  • “High Level of Care”: In accordance with the name, a “high level of care” facility must provide comprehensive support as frequently as needed, and can usually provide a greater level of medical intervention and supervision.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Negligence?

Nursing home staff members have a duty to protect residents from foreseeable harm. Failure to do so makes any member of a nursing home or assisted living facility’s staff liable for negligence. The medical director, nurses, caretakers, and all other healthcare providers can be held liable for nursing home negligence.

In order for an assisted living facility to market themselves as an “assisted living facility” they must have obtained a license. If the operator of the facility is not license or has failed to provide an adequate level of care they may be liable for medical malpractice or subject to civil fines.

What Can I Do If My Loved One is Being Mistreated by Staff?

If you fear your loved one is being neglected or subjected to malpractice the first course of action is to speak with the nursing home or assisted living facility’s staff. Keep a log of your observations, including any usual injuries or behaviors and the date and time they occur. Maintain a record of conversations with the staff and their attempts to resolve your concerns.

These records can become the information a medical malpractice lawyer will use to determine whether there was a violation of the standard of care that is common to other nursing facilities. If there is evidence that a health care provider violated this standard, the facility may be liable for medical malpractice.

How Can I Prove Negligence Occurred?

There are three requirements for proving negligence occurred in a nursing home or assisted living facility. First, the plaintiff must prove that the nursing home owner or employee violated the duty of care they owe to the resident and, second, the resident suffered an injury as a result. Finally, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the staff member’s conduct was the cause of the resident’s injury.

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