What Is Malpractice in Nursing Homes?
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Nursing home malpractice occurs when a medical professional commits an act of abuse or neglect in an elder care facility, which then results in harm to a patient or resident. An intentional act, failure to act or preventable medical accident can cause serious injuries to an elderly resident. When medical malpractice happens in a long-term care facility, the facility may be held legally responsible. Additionally, depending on the circumstances, you and/or your loved one may also be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or nurse responsible. If you suspect your loved one’s medical injury resulted from the negligent act of a caregiver in a nursing facility, then contact a legal professional experienced in nursing home liability.
The nursing home lawyers at Keefe Law Firm have experience representing claims involving medical malpractice in nursing homes. Everyone makes mistakes; however, when those mistakes cause significant injury to innocent victims, then the responsible parties should be held accountable. Our attorneys have been investigating and representing cases involving malpractice in skilled nursing facilities for many years. Contact our New Jersey nursing home medical malpractice lawyers for an evaluation of your situation. We will provide you with options to help you protect your loved one.
What Is Nursing Home Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs in a nursing home when a doctor, nurse practitioner or other licensed care provider intentionally or negligently causes injury to a resident of the facility. An intentional act is commonly classified as “elder abuse,” but can also be malpractice if perpetrated by a medical professional.
To hold a nursing home liable for medical malpractice, your case must have the following characteristics:
- Failure to meet the required standard of care. Like all medical professionals, doctors and nurses working in a skilled nursing facility must provide a reasonable standard of medical care. This means that they must provide the same level of treatment as any other reasonable health care professional under the same conditions and circumstances. It is a patient’s right to receive care consistent with these accepted standards and practices. When doctors and nurses fail to meet the standard of care, then you may have grounds for a claim.
- An injury occurred as a result of the negligence. A valid medical malpractice claim does not exist without causation. This means that patient and his or her attorney must prove he or she sustained an injury as a direct result of the negligent or intentional act or omission. If no harm resulted, then you may not be able to file a claim, even if serious negligence occurred.
- Significant damages resulted from the injury. The cost of litigating a medical malpractice lawsuit against a nursing home is expensive. If the injury was not substantial, then it may end up costing more to litigate the case than what is recoverable.
Nursing home residents often suffer due to understaffing and flaws in policies and procedures, as well as negligence by staff. If you think your family member was a victim of medical negligence resulting in serious injury, then contact our law firm.
What Are Some Examples of Nursing Home Medical Malpractice?
In a nursing home, medical malpractice can take many forms as most staff members may be licensed medical professionals. Common examples of nursing home malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Staff must supervise residents and get them medical care when necessary. However, negligent staff may overlook or ignore warning signs and symptoms of a serious illness or injury.
- Error involving laboratory results. Nursing homes may be responsible for performing certain medical tests; a negligent facility may fail to properly train staff or may ignore those tests.
- Failure to order proper testing. As a result of a misdiagnosis or errors in lab results, staff may fail to request tests for serious illnesses.
- Medication errors. Most elderly nursing home residents require daily medications; negligent or overworked staff may fail to administer essential prescriptions promptly and/or correctly.
- Poor aftercare or follow-up. Staff must properly monitor and care for residents after operations or during recovery.
- Disregarding patient’s health history. Like all medical professionals, nursing staff must be familiar with each patient’s medical history to prevent deadly medical errors.
- Injuring patient in transport. Negligence or lack of care in transporting elderly patients may result in broken bones, lacerations and other severe injuries.
- Failure to adjust a patient’s position. If a resident is confined to bed or a wheelchair, then staff must take care to adjust him or her frequently. Otherwise, bedsores may develop.
Determining whether your loved one was a victim of medical malpractice in a nursing home can be difficult. This is especially true as the facility and the staff may not tell you when negligence occurs, or may take steps to hide malpractice. An attorney can investigate any concerns you have about medical malpractice and can help you file a claim, if necessary.
Loved One Hurt by a Medical Mistake? Call Our Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Lawyers
As individuals and a society, we place a great amount of trust in medical professional to care for the elderly. Therefore, nursing homes should be held accountable when patients are injured as a result of medical malpractice. The New Jersey nursing home medical malpractice attorneys at Keefe Law Firm assist individuals and their loved ones in recovering monetary damages for preventable injuries they have sustained.
Contact our office online or call (866) 575-5000 to speak with a lawyer today.