What Are Your Rights As A Nursing Home Resident?

Every nursing home resident possesses rights that protect him or her from suffering as a result of abuse or negligence on the part of the nursing home and its staff. In some states, these rights are specified in statutes that directly address wrongful acts upon the elderly. In many other states, there are no statutes that explicitly refer to the rights of nursing home residents. However, victims in these states can invoke general liability laws and other statutes pertaining to personal injury to hold perpetrators of nursing home abuse or neglect liable for damages.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, get in touch with the experienced Oklahoma nursing home neglect attorneys at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst. It is understandable if you feel overwhelmed by the technicalities that complicate many laws. We can walk you through your legal options in a way that is comprehensive yet easy to understand. Contact our Oklahoma City lawyers today to learn more about your rights.

Negligence And The Doctrine Of Respondeat Superior

Negligence can take on many forms and result in serious injuries or even death. A nursing home may be found negligent if it provided inattentive supervision and care, inadequately trained or insufficient staff, and improper maintenance of the premises or equipment. An attorney can find a nursing home liable for the negligent actions of its employees by invoking the doctrine of respondeat superior; however, in order to do so, he or she must be able to prove that the negligent act committed by the employee was within the scope of his or her duties assigned by the nursing home.

Reasonable Care And Special Knowledge

Although nursing home staff is not expected by most states to monitor residents 24/7, they are at least expected to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries. This means a nursing home should make a comprehensive assessment of each resident's particular physical and mental conditions. Then specific protocols, drawn from the special knowledge attained through the assessments, should be carried out each and every day without fail. If these tasks are not adequately performed by the nursing home, residents may end up hurting themselves or others, and the victims of these incidents may make the claim that reasonable care was not exercised.

Medical Conditions Caused By Neglect

Many disabled nursing home residents need assistance with basic functions such as eating, drinking, cleaning and even shifting positions in bed or on chairs. If nursing home staff fails to recognize and meet these needs, residents may develop medical conditions such as malnutrition, dehydration, infection, bedsores and pressure sores. Nursing home owners and employees can be held accountable for such neglect because they breached their duty of care.

Premises Liability

The administrator of a private nursing home can be regarded under the legal concept of fiduciary relationships as a host who holds the fiduciary duty to keep his or her "invitees," or nursing home residents, safe from any unnecessary dangers on the premises. This involves the identification and elimination of all potential hazards, and if elimination is not possible, the propagation of adequate warnings about the hazards among all residents. However, the administrator may not be obligated to warn residents of more obvious dangers.

Selection And Maintenance Of Equipment

Every day, nursing home residents and staff use household items and medical equipment to perform both basic and complex tasks. Nursing homes are expected to provide working items and equipment, especially when it comes to medical treatment. If a resident is harmed by a defective item or suffers injuries during treatment due to faulty equipment, the nursing home may be held liable for the damages.

Fighting For Your Rights

The attorneys of Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst know all too well the different arguments nursing home defendants use in court to avoid paying liability damages such as contributory negligence of the injured party or assumption of a known risk. We have battled these defenses successfully in the past, and we'll do our best to uphold your rights and your claim so you can get full and fair compensation. Call us toll free anytime at 800-539-0652 for a free consultation.