Can I sue the nursing home for negligence?
A care facility can be held legally responsible -- meaning that a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed -- when an act of negligence, neglect, or abuse on the premises ends up causing harm to a patient or resident.
There are countless accidents, intentional acts, and failures to act that may leave a nursing home or other care facility on the legal hook, either based on the conduct of an employee or based on a policy or ongoing practice at the facility. Here are a few examples:
Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of hazards (meaning dangers that the facility and its staff are aware of, and those they should be aware of through reasonable diligence). This includes everything from preventing slip and fall accidents to preventing one resident from attacking another.
Negligent hiring of an employee who ends up neglecting, abusing, or otherwise intentionally harming a patient. The failure to properly train and supervise employees may also come into play here.
Failure to maintain adequate health and safety policies, including keeping clean and sanitary conditions in resident rooms and in common areas.
Failure to provide adequate medical treatment that is in line with the medical standard of care under the circumstances. When the provision of sub-standard medical care causes harm to a resident, there may be a case for medical malpractice against the nursing home facility and/or against a medical professional who treated the resident.
When a resident is injured at a care facility, it is not always obvious what exactly went wrong, and who might be legally responsible. In cases like these, your best first step might be discussing the situation with an experienced attorney.