An increasing elderly population has led to an increased nursing home population, and with this has come an increased incidence of nursing home negligence and abuse. Governmental agencies such as the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services help oversee the care and services provided by nursing homes and both federal and state governments have established uniform standards for nursing homes and ensure the protection and safety of patients.
Unfortunately, despite these governmental agencies, over one million nursing home residents are abused or physically hurt in some manner each year. Such actions can include negligence and active abuse. Whether the abuse consists of recurrent negligence or a single incident which causes injury, the victim has a right to money damages. In most cases, the nursing home in question can lose its certification for failing to provide the expected care.
Nursing home abuse can include physical damage from falls, malnutrition or dehydration, bed sores, gangrene, aspiration pneumonia, over-sedation, poor medical care, poor hygiene, or wrong medication. Just as damaging but more subtle are acts of abandonment, defective equipment, sexual assault, coercion, physical or mental abuse and lack of supervision. All of these can lead to injury or death of the nursing home patient.
Nursing home patients are covered under both state and federal law. Under federal law, there are regulations which set strict rules and promote a standard of care for the nursing home industry to follow. These regulations include preventing the deterioration of a resident’s ability to bathe, dress, groom, transfer and ambulate, toilet and eat. They also mandate that if a resident is unable to carry out activities of daily living, the nursing home provides necessary services to maintain good nutrition, grooming and personal and oral hygiene.
In Michigan, the Patient’s Bill of Rights, MCL 333.20201, provides many protections, including:
Besides federal and state regulations, there are certain industry standards of care that must be followed by a nursing home. If a breach of the standard of care occurs, and this breach causes injury, the nursing home may be liable for the injury sustained by the patient.
Nursing home injury law is constantly changing and demands strict attention to detail within the contours of the law. The litigation of nursing home cases is not easy. It usually involves thousands of pages of medical documents, close inspection of personnel files and facility data, numerous depositions as well as the involvement of many experts. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. can walk you through your case from beginning to end, making you feel comfortable and at ease about the process.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. has represented numerous nursing home victims, helping them obtain the compensation they deserve under the law. Please contact our office directly at 1.800.LEE.FREE (533-3733) to find out your rights and how we can begin fighting for you.
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