Nursing homes provide a certain level of care, or duty of care, to their residents. Unfortunately, a patient’s basic needs are not always met.
If you have a loved one in an assisted living center, you should be educated on nursing home liability laws and regulations. Your loved one is entitled to proper care and safety, so it is vital that you know what to expect and how to hold their nursing home liable if necessary.
What is Duty of Care?
According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, “duty of care” is when a nursing home accepts responsibility to provide a reasonable level of care and a safe environment for their residents. A nursing home has a legal duty to provide patients with protection, safety, and care. Care centers accept a level of liability if they fail to provide the type of care required by law. When the staff fails to live up to these standards, they are vulnerable to nursing home abuse litigation.
What is Reasonable Care?
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or if you are looking for one, it is important to know the definition of reasonable care. Reasonable care is usually reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This standard of care outlines the reasonable care that should be provided for each patient. The patient’s health, medical needs, and medical history are some items that might be listed. If a patient believes that this has been broken, they must be able to prove that the nursing home neglected to provide reasonable care, resulting in pain or injury.
Examples of the Breach of Care
What does it look like when the duty of care has not been fulfilled? If you have a loved one in a care facility, here are some examples to look for when you visit:
- Failure to keep a safe environment– When you visit, look around to make sure that medicines and other equipment are stored safely. Make sure the rooms are organized and free from clutter.
- Failing to respond to residents’ inquiries and complaints– If your loved one is complaining that staff members are not listening to them, this could be the beginning of a breach of care.
- Lack of training – Observe staff members when they are interacting with your loved one and others. An insufficient training program could lead to a lack of reasonable care.
- Understaffing– Some nursing homes may be hurting financially or might have a difficult time hiring staff. When a nursing home is understaffed, that is when important details can fall through the cracks.
When the Standard of Care is Breached
If you or your loved one feel that the standard of care has been breached, the responsibility to provide proof falls on you. First, you need to gather evidence. This can include documents showing a lack of care, witness statements, or photographic evidence. Nursing home abuse lawyers can help you gather the evidence needed to prove your case in a court of law.
If You Suspect a Lack of Care, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
If you suspect that the duty of care has been breached in your loved one’s facility, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you fight for the proper care they deserve. Our nursing home abuse lawyers strive to ensure that negligent care centers are held accountable for any degree of abuse or neglect.
We have offices throughout Utah County and West Jordan, Utah. Schedule your free case evaluation today.