The Level of Culpability Required to Prove Nursing Home Negligence

When the phrase “nursing home negligence” is mentioned, it often conjures images of cruel, sadistic nurses intentionally failing to provide a nursing home resident the level of care necessary for them to live a peaceful life. However, the law does not require this kind of mindset in order to find a nursing home or nursing home employee legally negligent for the care provided to a resident.

Under the legal theory of negligence, which is the applicable theory in almost all nursing home cases, a plaintiff need only prove that a duty of care that was owed to the resident was violated and that this violation resulted in the resident’s injuries. This does not necessarily require any ill intent on the part of the nurse, although evidence of such intent will likely satisfy the requirement.

More often than not, however, nursing home negligence cases proceed on just negligence. It may be that a nurse tries to take on a job that two nurses should handle. Or perhaps a nurse is overworked and is not provided a break for an entire 12-hour shift and forgets to attend to a certain resident. In these cases, while the nurse may have the best intentions in mind, the level of care provided was not that which is expected or required in the nursing home context. And therefore, that nurse – or the nurse’s employer – may be found to be liable in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.

Nursing Home Resident Dies Following Complications from Injuries Sustained as a Result of a Fall

Earlier this month, an Ohio woman filed suit against the nursing home that was charged with caring for her aged mother. According to one news source covering the recently filed case, the woman alleges that her mother passed away shortly after sustaining a fractured right femur.

Evidently, nursing home protocol called for a three-person assist to move the resident from her potty chair to her bed. However, only two nurses were available for the transfer. In the process of moving the resident from the chair to the bed, the women fell to the ground, fracturing her femur. The woman went into surgery a short time later and never recovered. Four days later, she passed away from complications relating to the injuries she sustained as a result of the fall.

Has Your Loved One Sustained an Unnecessary Injury in a Maryland Nursing Home?

If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you have noticed that the level of care they are being provided seems inadequate, or you have noticed unexplained bruises or other injuries, you may consider consulting a dedicated Maryland nursing home injury attorney. At the Maryland and Washington, D.C. law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience handling nursing home claims, and we are skilled at assessing the strength of a claim. To learn more about your case, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated and compassionate nursing home advocate.

More Blog Posts:

Nurse Charged with Abusing Patient and Falsifying Business Records to Cover It Up, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 15, 2016.

Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Home Contracts: Are They Binding?, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 7, 2016.

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