Three Factors The Court Will Examine In A Nursing Home Injury Case

When one of your loved ones is injured in a nursing home, then it is likely that you will consult an attorney to help you seek legal redress. If the case ends up in court, then there are several factors that the court will examine. Here are three examples:

Responsibility

Many people assume that a nursing home is always responsible for injuries that occur on their premises. According to Nolo, this is not always the case. For example, consider the case where a resident falls and breaks her wrist. It is possible that:

  • An outside contractor failed to maintain the floor properly.
  • Contracted cleaners did not put up warning signs such as “Slippery Floor.”
  • The resident tried to run, but fell due to her known case of weak bones.

Therefore, the court will not assume that the nursing home is responsible for the injury. In fact, there are even cases where responsibility is shared between several parties such as a resident, the nursing home and an outside contractor.

Standard of Care

Another factor the courts will zero in on is whether the nursing home in question provided the minimum standard of care as required by the state. Most states have minimum requirements that nursing homes must meet to acquire and maintain their licenses. For example, according to Nursing Home Alert, all nursing homes are required to:

  • Carry out accurate assessments of their residents’ abilities and capacities
  • Provide services to assist with daily living activities such as bathing
  • Provide assistive devices to help with hearing and vision

Consider an example of a nursing home failing to provide vision assistance (for example, in the form of lenses) to a partially blind resident. If the resident then harms himself as a result of his poor vision, then the nursing home is culpable for his injuries.

Causation

Finally, the court will also seek to find out what actually caused the injuries. This is necessary because many nursing home residents already have some degree of health conditions. The important question here is this: was the injury inevitable due to preexisting conditions, or was it caused by the nursing home’s negligence?

As you can imagine, many nursing homes will use the excuse of preexisting conditions to defend themselves against negligence. For example, if a resident fell and broke her hip bone in a nursing home, then the management may argue that the defendant fell because of her frailty and advanced age. It is your legal team’s duty to prove that the fall was occasioned by the slippery floor or the lack of railings on the porch, as the case may be.

You can see just how complicated nursing home injuries can get. For example, just because the nursing home provided the minimum standard of care doesn’t absolve it from all the blame when an injury occurs. It is essential that you don’t make any decisions on your own; instead, you should consult a personal injury attorney for any situation you might have.

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