Protecting Elders from Nursing Home Malpractice

We represent patients and their families in nursing home malpractice cases. Let’s explore what nursing home negligence means and how we can help.

The Problem

Most people would like to be able to care for our elderly parents and other loved ones. But, too often, we don’t have room for them or can’t offer them the intensive care and supervision they need to be comfortable. Many of us then seek a facility where our loved one will be properly cared for and treated. Most of the time this is a nursing home or assisted living facility.

These nursing homes have become so expensive that most patients spend down their assets and rely on Medicaid for the balance of their lives. Thus the homes are supervised by the federal and state government. Regulations require extensive and open record keeping so the care of each patient can be monitored.

Nursing homes make mistakes in caring for the elderly. They are operated by humans and all humans make errors. Sometimes these errors result in serious injury or death to the patient in the home. When this happens, the relatives of the patient may have a claim for nursing home malpractice.

These cases are often tragic and always serious. The elderly patient is often frail, sometimes confused and always vulnerable. Because they are in poor health entering the home, any injury there may make things much worse.

Nursing Home Duty

The nursing home has a duty under the law to provide appropriate care in line with the standards of care for similar facilities. When a home violates this standard of care, we say it is legally “negligent”. In most medical malpractice cases, the standard of care is proven by bringing in expert witnesses (usual physicians) to testify as to appropriate care under the circumstances and whether the doctor violated that standard. In nursing home cases, the standards are often established by government regulation and are much clearer. Also, records of incidents are required to be available to the public in most cases and make the investigation of these cases smoother than in other malpractice cases where doctors and hospitals typically stonewall any attempt to get information.

Types of Nursing Home Malpractice

  • Inadequate Care: Often nursing homes are not properly staffed or understaffed, and injuries happen to patients because they are not receiving the required care needed. This can be negligence and can be malpractice if the neglect results in injury to the patient. For instance, failure to turn patients can result in serious bedsores; patients who need help walking may not get it and may fall; patients may become infected because of inadequate hygiene. Any inadequate care should be explored.
  • Abuse: Tragically, some patients are assaulted by staff. Some are sexual assaults. Many of these happen because of inadequate screening and supervision of the staff. Any of these incidents which result in physical or emotional injury should be pursued.
  • Medical Mistakes

Are you a victim of nursing home medical malpractice in Maine? Contact us today!