The legal term liability means legal responsibility for one’s actions or omissions. Failure of a person or entity to meet their responsibility is grounds for litigation. Liability when it comes to nursing home abuse often refers to actions involving mistreatment, negligence, and physical, emotional, or financial abuse.
Types of Liability
In cases involving liability, a plaintiff must prove the legal liability concerning the defendants. Proof includes evidence of the duty to act and failure to do so, along with the connecting result of injury or harm against the plaintiff. Civil cases involve a preponderance of evidence and differ from criminal cases that base the verdict upon issues of reasonable doubt. Listed below are several types of liability.
General liability: This type of liability includes bodily injury and costs associated with the injury. Other claims considered general liability include property damage, defamation claims, and counsel fees.
Limited liability: When a lawsuit is filed against a limited liability company (LLC), it is the company as a whole that is being sued—not the individual owners or investors.
Primary liability: This refers to when one person is directly responsible for the claims brought against them.
Secondary liability: This liability is defined as the responsibility of another party if the party primarily responsible fails or refuses to satisfy their obligation.
Joint and several liability: This refers to those individuals responsible for their actions yet who are part of one collective unit. The plaintiff may file a lawsuit and recover damages from any or all of the defendants. However, they may not receive double compensation. For example, the plaintiff may not receive equal amounts of compensation from two separate defendants.
When it comes to nursing home abuse, liability law is a strong factor in pursuing justice for the elderly. People rely upon a certain standard of care for their loved ones. If you discover your loved one is suffering, it is imperative to hold the people you entrusted with them accountable for their actions.
Liability means responsibility and nursing homes have a responsibility to provide quality care that includes:
- preventing slips and falls
- dispensing the correct medication
- maintaining functional medical equipment
- properly training staff
Neglect such as bedsores and poor hydration results in bodily harm that only add to a patient’s existing medical issues. Staff who fail to treat patients with a certain duty of care may be held liable when the lack of care involves serious consequences.
If you suspect your loved one is receiving inadequate and dangerous care in a nursing home, take immediate action. Document everything by taking photos and interviewing witnesses. Immediately take your concerns to management. You might need to move your loved one to another facility as soon as possible, depending on the circumstances.
For signs of physical abuse, contact local enforcement right away. Even if there are eventual criminal charges, consider pursuing civil action by contacting a lawyer experienced with nursing home liability cases.
The action you take will not only help your loved one but may result in changes and better circumstances for patients who remain at the facility.
Elder Abuse Liability
Falls and medical issues do happen as the elderly continue to age and decline in health. However, the duty of care is for staff to provide a safe and trusting environment for the residents. When unexplained or avoidable falls occur, or a resident’s health declines due to neglect, the legal responsibility points to those responsible for the resident’s care.
If you suspect your loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect and are considering legal action, it is vital to understand that demonstrating a preponderance of evidence is a lengthy process. Don’t delay in contacting an elder abuse lawyer for a free consultation. Should they decide to proceed with your case, they will need adequate time to prepare for trial before the statute of limitations expires.
If you believe a nursing home is liable for harm or injury to your loved one, call 1-800-516-4783 for a free consultation of your case. The sooner an attorney reviews your case, the sooner they can decide upon the best course of action in pursuing justice for your loved one.
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