Numerous individuals trust nursing homes to responsibly provide for their medical needs. Unfortunately, not all facilities earn this trust. If a resident becomes injured or dies due to the negligence of nursing home staff and caretakers, their loved ones may have a right to bring a malpractice case. If you suspect that your loved one has been injured because of nursing home negligence, it’s crucial that you reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer.
The nursing home malpractice attorneys of Stanfield Bechtel Law work hard to hold nursing homes accountable when their negligence causes injuries. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.
What Is Nursing Home Malpractice?
Legally, nursing homes are required to meet certain basic standards of care for their residents, and when they fail to do so, the victims and their families can hold them liable for negligence. This is where a nursing home malpractice lawsuit comes in. While making a mistake is not itself proof of malpractice, certain errors are so unreasonable that any competent facility should avoid them. Additionally, negligence can occur when nursing homes fail to provide their residents with basic rights, including the right to privacy and the right not to have personal property stolen or damaged.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Malpractice
According to the National Institute on Aging, some of the warning signs that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home malpractice can include the following:
- Weight loss or gain
- Infections or bedsores with unexplained causes
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Sudden changes in behavior or personality, including depression, anxiety, withdrawal from activities, self-harm, fits of anger, or lack of interest in personal hygiene
- Serious complications caused by the nursing home’s failure to treat a resident’s medical condition properly
These examples are only a few possible signs that your loved one may have suffered harm because of a negligent nursing home facility and/or staff member. If you suspect your loved one’s needs aren’t being taken care of, it’s important to contact the nursing home administrators. Speaking to an attorney can also help you protect your loved one’s rights and understand whether you or your family member may have a valid claim for compensation.
Nursing Home Malpractice Injuries Can Be Severe
As we age, the risk of certain injuries becomes more serious, including those caused by falls and severe infections. When nursing homes fail to use reasonable care to treat residents’ medical needs, residents can become traumatized, permanently disabled, or suffer fatal injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries caused by nursing home malpractice include the following:
A bedsore is generally the result of being left in the same position for too long, which is an avoidable problem. But the actual condition is potentially more serious than it may sound. Bedsores are also called pressure sores and are painful injuries that develop in bedridden or otherwise immobile nursing home residents. The pressure of the individual’s weight restricts blood supply to the skin and tissue, causing tissue to die, open up, and leave a wound. If the bedsore is not treated, it can become infected.
Many nursing home residents need assistance meeting their dietary and hydration needs. When nursing homes are understaffed or staff members act negligently, residents may not receive enough nutrition. Rapid weight loss is usually a sign that the patient is suffering from malnutrition. Other signs include mouth sores, dental difficulties, poor wound healing, and easy bruising.
Elderly individuals usually need assistance taking their medications, and a nursing home or assisted living facility is responsible for ensuring this need is met. Many types of medication errors can cause harm, including:
- Slicing or cutting a pill that shouldn’t be cut
- Providing a resident with inadequate liquid when the medication requires hydration
- Providing inadequate food or antacids along with medication that requires them
- Failure to shake, mix, or roll medications that require doing so
- Not following enteral nutrition formulas
- Administering the wrong type or amount of prescription medication
- Failure to administer medication at the correct times
- Incorrectly documenting the administering of medication
- Failure to monitor the resident after giving medication
- Lab errors that could result in harmful prescription dosages
- Use of an incorrect medication administration technique
Neglect at the hands of nursing homes and assisted living facilities causes a variety of injuries. For example, when nursing homes fail to supervise patients with mobility challenges, the patient may be more likely to suffer a preventable, deadly fall. Failure to notice warning signs of serious medical conditions can cause those conditions to become exacerbated due to being untreated.
As mentioned above, untreated bedsores can lead to severe infections and patient complications. Nursing homes should hire adequately trained staff who provide each resident with the care he or she needs.
Other injuries include:
- Broken hips and bones
- Bed rail injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Nursing home wrongful death lawsuits arise when a resident passes away due to the facility’s failure to keep them safe or competently treat their medical condition. Nursing home wrongful death lawsuits could be due to medical negligence, medical errors, abuse, or harm by another resident. Family members of loved ones who have died because of nursing home malpractice may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. Available damages include compensation for funeral costs, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have to Pursue a Nursing Home Malpractice Claim?
Nursing home malpractice victims have only a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation in civil court. The time limit is referred to as the statute of limitations. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations is two years from the injury’s date. If the injury wasn’t discovered immediately, plaintiffs have an additional year from the date the injury was discovered. The maximum amount of time available is three years.
In the event of a wrongful death due to nursing home malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death and up to five years from the date of the injury.
It’s important that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible so you can begin gathering evidence and developing a claim.
Contact a Skilled Connecticut Nursing Home Malpractice Attorney
At Stanfield Bechtel Law, we have a proven track record of holding nursing homes accountable for injuries caused by malpractice. If your loved one has suffered an injury caused by the negligence of nursing home administrators or staff, we are here to help. Contact Stanfield Bechtel Law to discuss your case with a skilled malpractice attorney.