There is an outstanding number of elderly people who are abused, either psychologically or physically, and are neglected by their care givers, and others. That number has amounted to at least 4 million people every year. Trying to figure out who is the party responsible for abusing or injuring an elderly in a nursing home can be difficult to establish because there are a few parties that could be at fault such as, a third party, an employee, and the facility. Below will be described who might be responsible for an elderly’s mishap while at a nursing home.
Is the Facility Responsible?
The nursing home facilities have what is called a “duty of care”, like medical care settings such as, a hospital. They must abide by very demanding services that need to be done with case for these elderly people. Some of those services include: proper hygiene, adequate food, shelter, and medical standard of care. Nursing homes provide so many different services where a resident can sustain injuries or abuse. These are the following categories in which a resident can experience abuse or injury:
- Lack of adequate security
- Poor training of staff
- Irresponsible hiring of staff; no background checks
- Not addressing the elderly’s medical needs
- Not monitoring staff
- And more
If the person that was victimized, or their loves ones can show that the nursing home was negligent, and because of that negligence the elderly person suffered abuse or injury, then the nursing facility can be held responsible.
Is it a Third Party that was Responsible?
Just because an elderly person is injured or abused, does not mean it always falls on the nursing home. There can be third party elements that may have caused the elderly’s injury or abuse. If an elderly person suffered a broken bone, it may have been the wheelchair or gurney that was defective causing them to fall and break a bone. Many parties could be responsible for the example mentioned above, such as:
- The manufacturers of the wheelchair
- The designers of the wheelchair
- The improper use of the wheelchair
- The lack of maintenance of the wheelchair
There are more parties that could be held responsible for other incidents that occur such as, food poisoning: food supplier could be held liable, or the person who was supposed to properly sanitize the kitchen. A lack of security can lead to an elderly person being injured or abused by a trespasser, in that case the nursing home would be the one’s liable, unless it is an outside security contractor the one that was supposed to make sure everything was secure and safe.
Suspecting Abuse or Injury?
If there is suspicion that an elderly person has fallen victim of abuse or injury, then it should be reported to the appropriate persons. Many states have a “where to report abuse” tab on the National Center on Elder Abuse website, where someone can report if they think an elderly may have been abused.
Contacting the appropriate places and removing the elderly person out of the problematic situation can be done by an experienced nursing home abuse and injury lawyer. A lawyer from Percy Martinez Law firm can help in identifying which party is liable for the damages.