Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers
- Over 40 Years of Experience
- More Than $3 Billion Won for Our Clients
- Thousands of Lives Changed
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the United States has more than 15,000 nursing homes, housing almost 2 million residents. Families trust these facilities to provide compassionate, qualified care to their loved ones. That degree of care is not just expected—it’s required by law.
Unfortunately, nursing homes sometimes fail to meet their obligations to residents, and the result can be devastating physical or mental harm, or even death. If you suspect you or a loved one may have a claim for a nursing home negligence lawsuit, you may want to contact an attorney who is experienced in this type of case.
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Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence?
When nursing homes are responsible for the harm caused to their residents, they may be found legally liable for neglect. Holding negligent nursing homes accountable is what we do.
A nursing home resident—if they are mentally and physically competent to do so—may seek the help of a nursing home negligence lawyer in order to file suit against the facility. In the event that the resident is not legally competent to file suit, a family member or other person with power of attorney can sue the nursing home on their behalf.
However, when negligence or harm is suspected, the first course of action should always be to contact the proper facility administrators to report incidents of harm. It is important to work quickly to prevent additional harm, but this also can be helpful to establish that negligence occurred, especially if the facility did not act to correct the harmful situation after it was reported.
When injuries or harm occur, it is also important to contact the proper government authorities, such as county or state governing authorities, to report the incidents.
Residents of nursing homes have rights that are protected by federal law as well as by the statutes of the specific states that license them. When those rights are violated, even unintentionally, there may be grounds for a lawsuit.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence occurs when the facility that has taken on the responsibility for caring for a resident fails to do so. To be considered negligence, the actions of the nursing home typically must meet three criteria:
- Duty of care. This means the nursing home was responsible for caring for the resident.
- Breach of duty of care. This means the nursing home failed to carry out its duty to care for the resident.
- Injury or harm. As a result of the nursing home’s breach of duty of care, the resident has suffered harm.
Negligence can, however, look very different in different situations. Nursing home negligence can often fall into one of these categories:
- Medical neglect. An example would be improperly administering medication or withholding necessary medical intervention.
- Social or emotional neglect. This might include intentionally isolating residents or failing to provide residents mobility assistance to allow them to socialize.
- Basic needs neglect. Sometimes, negligence might mean failing to ensure that residents are receiving adequate food or water in accordance with regulatory guidelines.
- Hygiene neglect. This might include not assisting residents with bathing as needed or failing to provide residents with what they need to care for their own hygiene.
Nursing home negligence can stem from the nursing home’s failure to provide the kind of environment that allows its residents to live safely and with dignity.
Determining whether or not a nursing home is legally responsible for neglecting residents can be difficult. However, there are some common scenarios that are seen in neglect cases, such as a nursing home’s failure to:
- Prevent bedsores
- Provide food, clothing, or shelter adequately
- Give residents regular baths and change undergarments
- Provide access to medical and dental care, including wound care
- Keep residents hydrated properly
- Offer physical therapy and range-of-motion exercises as needed
- Maintain safety standards, especially for residents with mobility issues
- Help residents when they request assistance
- Supervise both individuals and groups sufficiently
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?
While some common experiences or injuries will affect most elderly people at some point, here are some common warning signs of nursing home negligence:
- Bedsores or slow-to-heal wounds
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Frequent complaints of hunger
- Agitation or frequent unhappiness
- Injuries from falls
- Complaints about staff or facility
- Genital rashes, sores, or bruising
- Sudden changes in behavior or mood
- Flare-ups of previously managed illnesses
- Smelling of urine or feces
- Frequent or increased urinary tract infections
While these signs are not necessarily proof of negligence, recognizing that a resident who is experiencing these factors—especially a combination of them—might mean it is time to consider reaching out to the authorities or a nursing home negligence lawyer for guidance.
What Are Some Causes of Legal Liability for Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing homes are tasked with caring for our most vulnerable loved ones, and many staff members work tirelessly to provide an environment as close to home as possible given the circumstances. Unfortunately, sometimes the staff or administrators of nursing homes fall short, leading to some common circumstances of negligence. These may include:
- Insufficient facilities. Sometimes, it is not the staff but the facility itself that causes the nursing home to be negligent in their care. Facilities without proper water, heating and cooling, or laundry facilities, for example, can lead to negligence.
- Negligent hiring. Nursing homes that are unable or unwilling to ensure that their staff is qualified to care for residents may be found responsible for negligence if staff members cause injury to residents—whether intentionally or not.
- Poor supervision. Poor supervision of residents can result in injury or harm, and this can be negligence. Court rulings have even found that sometimes nursing homes have a duty of care to protect residents from themselves, and failing to do so is neglect.
- Inadequate medical care. Many nursing home residents require medical supervision or care, and a failure to provide access to this care and qualified staff to administer it can result in negligence.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Negligence?
Different states have different statutes of limitations, or the amount of time you have to pursue a claim. They vary from one year to six years, with the average being about two or three years. Every state is responsible for enforcing its own statute of limitations for negligence.
Consulting with a nursing home negligence attorney as soon as you suspect there may be a claim is an important step in ensuring that you or your loved one has the opportunity to seek accountability and compensation.
How to Prove Nursing Home Negligence
Once you begin to suspect nursing home neglect and have notified the proper authorities, there are some steps you can take to prove your nursing home negligence case.
- Watch and document the signs of neglect. Having documentation not only can help you notice patterns that may be helpful in your case but are crucial to helping your nursing home negligence lawyer meet the burden of proof in a lawsuit.
- Take photographs. Photographic evidence of injuries or inadequate or unsafe facilities can be invaluable in proving negligence. Even if you are not yet sure you want to pursue a negligence case, taking photographs when you see something concerning is generally a good idea.
- Document resident complaints. When it is your loved one who is a resident of the nursing home, they may reach out to you when they are unhappy. Keeping a log of complaints or concerns they communicate to you or others is important.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit?
Once a nursing home negligence lawyer has established that a claim is valid, the resident or their loved one may decide to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.
Lawsuits can be a lengthy process, and it is important to have a tenacious, compassionate lawyer on your side. From filing to settlement, a nursing home negligence lawsuit usually takes about 18 to 24 months. In the majority of cases, a settlement is agreed upon
How Much Is Awarded in a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit?
The amount awarded in a verdict or settlement for a nursing home negligence lawsuit depends on a number of factors, particularly:
- The circumstances of the neglect
- The degree of harm caused by the neglect
Corporate chains operate 58 percent of for-profit nursing homes, with private equity firm investments increasing by $5.3 billion since 2015. Therefore, complex litigation may be the only avenue available for victims and their families to pursue justice, starting with untangling who to file suit against and how many parties may be liable. This can be especially difficult as ownership arrangements continue to become more complex:
- 70 percent of nursing homes are operated by for-profit
- 24 percent nursing homes are not-for-profit
- 7 percent of nursing homes are government-owned
Nursing home abuse settlements and verdicts may provide compensation to your loved one for their physical pain and mental anguish as a way to ensure their quality of life and peace of mind. At JJS, we believe that all our cases deserve justice. We know that nursing home negligence can have a devastating impact on your or your loved one’s life, and we are committed to fighting for the maximum compensation to provide for their care.
Featured Verdicts and Settlements
- $9 Million for Nursing Home Negligence: A Baltimore County nursing home resident died from a painful, infected pressure injury (also known as a bedsore or pressure ulcer) caused by the negligence of the second-largest nursing home in Maryland. The verdict included $8 million as compensation to the deceased’s estate for his pain and suffering and $1.045 million for the emotional harm suffered by his family. This is believed to be the highest verdict ever recorded in a Maryland nursing home case.
Meet The Team
The experienced leaders of our legal/medical team have earned the highest ratings available from such peer organizations as Best Lawyers in America®, Super Lawyers®, and Martindale-Hubbell. We have extraordinary in-house medical experts who uncover medical errors that other law firms miss. Our nursing home and assisted living facility lawyers include:
Howard Janet has produced an extraordinary number of precedent-setting and record-breaking results for his clients. What’s more, for the past 40 years he has been an unflagging advocate for the rights of countless individuals, helping them find their voice in the courtroom and beyond.
Kenneth Suggs has been a tireless champion of consumer legal rights for over 40 years. Known for his advocacy in the areas of medical malpractice, product liability, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death, he has been recognized nationally as one of the nation’s finest trial lawyers.
Dr. Giles Manley brings a unique perspective to his practice, as he spent 20 years practicing as a board-certified physician. He uses his medical expertise to help victims of medical malpractice get the justice they deserve, and has won a number of 7-figure verdicts on their behalf.
Gerald Jowers has devoted his career to helping patients harmed by medical malpractice, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. He has a proven track record of expertise in these areas and practices law with compassion and dignity for his clients.
Patrick Thronson proudly advocates for individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries because of preventable medical errors, and for those who have been harmed by contamination, fraud, or other misconduct. Patrick has been a member of litigation teams that have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims.
Andrew Janet works with survivors of sexual abuse and has helped them find justice and closure for the suffering they endured. He has also represented individuals in high-profile cases against powerful institutions.
Tara Kellermeyer has been described by colleagues and clients as genuine, hard-working, a fierce negotiator, calm, collaborative, an effective communicator, and honest. She is a fierce defender of those affected by nursing home negligence and sexual abuse.
Our team is committed to practicing law with dignity and compassion for our clients. We have a proven history of excellence in cases involving physical abuse, neglect, and malpractice. Our team has 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of our clients and have won over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements on their behalf.
Why Choose Janet, Janet & Suggs with Your Nursing Home Negligence Case
Janet, Janet & Suggs is a nationally recognized legal/medical team with over 40 years of experience helping clients get the justice and compensation they deserve. We understand the special consideration of nursing home negligence cases, and we provide our services on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay anything until you obtain compensation.
If you believe you may have grounds for a lawsuit, contact us to schedule a consultation to find out more about your rights and learn if compensation may be available for your family. We work hard to make it easier to take the proper legal action and achieve the care and peace of mind you deserve.