What is Nursing Home Malpractice?
When a nursing home fails to provide adequate care to a resident, it may be liable for the resulting injuries or wrongful death. The common law theory of negligence, when applied in a healthcare setting, is often called “malpractice”. In order to prevail in a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove five elements:
- Duty: The ability to establish that the defendant owed you or a family member a duty of care. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients as a matter of law.
- Breach: The ability to prove that the defendant breached the requisite duty of care owed to them.
- Causation: The ability to prove a correlation/ direct link between the negligent act and the resulting injury. A plaintiff must demonstrate that, without the defendant’s breach, the injury most likely would not have occurred.
- Injury: The ability to prove you suffered injuries, loss, death, or other expenses
Many people believe nursing home abuse only describes physical injuries incurred upon the resident. However, nursing homes may be liable for other types of abuse, such as sexual abuse, emotional/ psychological abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. Neglect occurs when a facility fails to meet the basic needs of the older adult including food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and medical care. A nursing home staff member who intentionally fails to comply with the “standard of care” should be held responsible if their actions lead to injuries or death.
Spotting the Signs of Nursing Home Wrongdoings
Residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia may have difficulty communicating. Others may be hesitant to report malpractice out of fear or because they are unfamiliar with the law. If you suspect that a loved one is victim of nursing home malpractice, look for these warning signs:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Broken or fractured bones
- Medication errors
- Oxygen deficiency
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior, including anxiety, depression, withdrawal from activities, fits of anger, self-harm, lack of interest in personal hygiene
- Other unexplained injuries
Who May be Liable?
Anyone employed by the nursing home who was responsible for or contributed to injuries or death may be liable. Parties in a nursing home abuse lawsuit may include:
- Doctors and Physicians Assistants (PAs)
- Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)
- Contracted vendors
- Custodians and maintenance staff
- Nursing homes and parent companies
Types of Compensation
Your Nursing Home malpractice attorney will provide the top-quality legal representation you need to recover the damages you deserve. There are three types of damages you may be awarded in a nursing home malpractice case:
These are expenses and financial losses such as reimbursement for medical bills, physical therapy, long-term care, or stolen money.
These damages include compensation for the pain and suffering, anxiety, or diminished quality of life.
This money may be included to punish the defendants for their careless behavior or for intentionally or maliciously causing harm.
Our Experienced Attorneys Have a Proven Track Record of Success
SSDMD has substantial experience handling nursing home malpractice cases. Our team of attorneys are dedicated to “right the wrongs” that have been forced upon our clients and to providing a voice for individuals and families that have fallen victim to nursing home malpractice.
The hearing that sparked change:
In December 2018, Partner Paul da Costa testified before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee at a hearing on behalf of the families whose children had fallen victim to the preventable Adenovirus outbreak at The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. 36 pediatric patients contracted the virus and 11 of the 36 passed away due to complications of the virus. After the hearing, the Legislature passed a bill that was signed by Governor Murphy requiring long-term care facilities to isolate and separate sick and “at-risk” residents from the healthy population and to have infectious disease outbreak plans. In addition to the legislative changes, Mr. da Costa achieved a $6.2 million settlement [FAN1] for the 13 families he represented in the lawsuit.
Mr. da Costa is representing numerous families and staff members that have fallen victim to COVID-19 inside nursing homes, such as the Veterans Memorial Homes at Menlo Park and Paramus where residents were negligently exposed to the deadly virus. Mr. da Costa has even achieved an eight-figure settlement of $32 million for the families of the Menlo Park and Paramus Veterans Memorial Homes
There is an increase in concern over nursing home malpractice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being that elderly patients are especially vulnerable in terms of contracting the virus, it's more important than ever to seek out an experienced nursing home malpractice attorney to handle your case. Our team of legal experts can guide you and your loved ones through any COVID lawsuit and help you achieve justice.
Paul M. da Costa and his team at Snyder Sarno D'Aniello Maceri & da Costa LLC are dedicated to ensuring your rights are defended and that financial problems resulting from losses caused by another party's negligence do not undermine your stability. Contact our office today to set up a consultation and discuss your case with an experienced professional.