When a loved one is living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you have an expectation that they will be taken care of. That’s what the home is there for, right? And yet, tragically, it seems like every day we hear horrible stories of neglect and abuse of elders in homes across the United States. All too often, these facilities cut corners and fail to meet their responsibilities to keep our loved ones safe and secure. This corner cutting can lead to injuries for visitors and residents alike.
Nursing home abuse, neglect and injuries often fall under the legal umbrella of premises liability, which operates on the theory of negligence (as do most personal injury cases). In order to show that a nursing home was negligent, there are some elements that must be proven:
- The nursing home created a hazard on the premise
- Management knew about the hazard and took no steps to address it, OR
- Management should have known about the hazard because certain time had passed or certain information was available, but steps were not taken to address the issue
Hazards can come in many forms. Slip, trip and fall hazards such as wet floors, broken rails and steep stairways can pose serious danger to elders. Negligent security is another problem in nursing homes; when security fails to address potential threats from visitors, nursing home residents may be harmed in the process. Even failure to keep the nursing home clean and maintained for residents can cause injuries and be used as evidence of negligence.
Nursing homes have a duty of care to protect their residents and visitors. When they do not, the best recourse for those injured is to speak to an attorney.