Nursing Home Neglect is similar to abuse in certain respects, but there are important differences between the two. “Abuse” means causing or permitting the infliction of physical pain, injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation. It could also include unreasonable restraint or confinement, or mental anguish, or the deprivation of nutrition. More examples involve the lack of clothing, shelter, health care, or other services without which serious physical or mental injury is likely to occur to a vulnerable adult by a caretaker. “Neglect”, on the other hand, nursing home abuse and neglect can also be:
- a failure to provide protection for a vulnerable adult who is unable to protect his or her own interest,
- a failure to provide a vulnerable adult with adequate shelter, nutrition, medical care, or clothing, or
- a negligent act or failure to act that results in harm or the unreasonable risk of harm to a vulnerable adult through the action, inaction, or lack of supervision by a caretaker;
In a nutshell, nursing home negligence is a form of substandard care that causes harm to a resident. The standards of care that a facility is required to adhere by are set out in Section 1-1918 of the Nursing Home Care Act. This Section is also known as the nursing home residents’ “Bill of Rights”. This bill of rights sets out the basic religious, financial, and medical rights of the residents in such facilities. Essentially all nursing home negligence cases in Oklahoma arise from a violation of Section 1-1918’s provisions.
Proving Nursing Home Neglect.
In all negligence cases, one needs to show that there was a duty that was breached, and that breach caused the harm that resulted. A nursing home clearly has a duty to its residents to provide certain standards of care pursuant to the Nursing Home Care Act, and a breach of this duty would constitute a violation of Section 1-1918. Any person convicted of violating any provisions of that section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00, nor more than $300.00, or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than thirty (30) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
Proving Liability Can Still be Complicated.
Often, the nursing home or residential facilities will try to argue that if you or your family member is injured by one of these violations, your remedy should be limited to that set out in Section 1-1918. This is simply not true! You can bring other causes of action along with your claim of such violation. Hiring an attorney who has knowledge in this area of law is crucial if you want full recovery for you or your loved one’s injuries.
What an Attorney Can Do For You.
Nursing home negligence is a complex legal matter that requires the knowledge and skill of an attorney who can help. Many times vulnerable adults are unable to hold anyone accountable for their injuries. Their family and loved ones are left in shock as the nursing home seems to evade liability. Often, these types of facilities are backed by corporations who can pull in financial and legal resources that will overwhelm and prevent a complainant from bringing forth a cause of action. Don’t let this discourage you! Getting legal representation will protect you from such traps. Here’s what an attorney can do:
- Attempt to reconcile the complaint between the parties: A skilled attorney may initially see if the facility can correctly remedy the situation promptly before any further legal action is required. If this fails, then they will take the next steps to initiate the lawsuit.
- Gather all the relevant information regarding your case: Medical records, witness statements, and any other pertinent evidence
- Getting the Action Started: Filing your claim with the court and serving the defendants with notice of the action
- Negotiation: Civil cases rarely go to trial, with over 90% ending in a settlement agreement
- Preparing for Trial: If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, trial will then commence and a judge or jury will decide the outcome based on the facts and circumstances of your case. A skilled attorney will make sure your side of the story is heard in order for you to receive the most recovery for your damages.
Contact our Tulsa Nursing Home Lawyer.
Residents of nursing homes are often vulnerable adults who need representation. Our firm has successfully assisted residents and their family members with their claims against these facilities for years now. If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, please call us today for a free consultation with our Tulsa nursing home neglect lawyers at Kania Law Office. 918.743.2233