If your loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, then you shouldn't automatically assume that the nursing home itself is responsible for your loved one's injuries. Apart from the nursing home, other third parties may also be liable for the abuse. Below are some of the third parties who may be liable for your loved one's injuries in a nursing home.
Nursing Home Visitors
If a nursing home visitor causes injury to your loved one, then the visitor may be solely liable for the damages or share the liability with other parties. The liable party depends on the circumstances and cause of the injury.
For example, if a visitor physically injures your elderly loved one in a fight, then you can lodge a civil lawsuit against the visitor using the principle of assault and battery. However, if the nursing home knew about the visitor's violent tendencies but didn't keep them out, then the nursing home may share the responsibility for your loved one's injuries with the visitor.
Nursing Home Staff Member
A nursing home staff member that harms a resident doesn't get off the hook simply because they are an employee of the nursing home. Nursing homes don't always shield their employees from injury liabilities. In some cases, a nursing home staff member may share the blame for the injuries with their employer, or the staff member may bear sole responsibility for the injuries.
For example, if a nursing home owner doesn't train their employees properly, then the nursing home facility may be responsible for injuries that the inadequate education may trigger. However, if a nursing home staff member harms a resident despite the staff's adequate training, then the individual staff member may be held liable for the damages.
Many nursing homes contract some of their services or responsibilities to third parties. The contractual agreements can save the nursing home facility considerable resources over the long run. For example, a nursing home owner may contract its cleaning services, medical services, or maintenance services to other professionals.
One of these contractors may end up responsible for your loved one's injuries. If you can prove the contractor's liability, then the contractor should compensate the injury damages, and not the nursing home. For example, a pavement repair company that makes negligent repairs that trigger slip and fall accidents should pay for the associated damages.
Equipment Designers and Manufacturers
There are also cases where defective equipment causes injury to a nursing home tenant. In the case of a defective product injury, a product liability claim against the liable party should compensate the injury victim.
Here are a few examples of nursing accidents that may trigger product liability claims:
- A nursing home resident suffers severe side effects after taking a dangerous drug
- A nursing home resident suffers a broken ankle after falling from a defectively designed wheelchair
- A nursing home resident suffers medical complications after eating contaminated food
Product designers, manufacturers, and vendors are some of the common defendants in product liability claims.
Nursing home abuse doesn't always entail physical accidents or injuries. There are various forms of nursing home abuse such as sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse, among others. Unfortunately, there are cases where a relative is responsible for the abuse of a nursing home resident.
For example, many nursing home residents suffer financial abuse or exploitation at the hands of their relatives. You may find that a relative comes along with tall tales on lucrative investments or even forges financial documents. In the case of financial abuse, the responsible party should compensate your loved one even if the responsible party is another relative.
At Law Offices of Goldberg & Ibarra, we believe that a nursing home should be the safest place for its residents. Therefore, we will do everything in our power to get justice and compensation from your loved one who has suffered abuse in a nursing home. Contact us for a free consultation so that we can discuss your case further.