Suing a Nursing Home for Negligence

If poor nursing home care causes injury or death to someone you love, you may be able to take legal action. Suing a nursing home for negligence or neglect allows you to get financial aid for medical bills and hold the facility accountable. Below, learn how to connect with an attorney and sue a nursing home for neglect.

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Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Neglect?

An older man using a walker prepares to stand up with help from a female nurse

Yes. Neglect occurs when staff members fail to uphold the standard of care in an assisted living facility and harm comes to residents as a result. Thankfully, elders and families can take legal action against nursing home neglect.

Nursing home neglect is not exactly the same thing as abuse, though they share common causes such as negligent hiring practices, lack of staff training, and understaffing.

Nursing home abuse occurs when someone intentionally harms an elderly resident. Nursing home neglect is not intentional but it can be just as harmful.

In cases of neglect, nursing home staff may fail to:

  • Care for wounds and bedsores
  • Change a resident’s clothes or bedding
  • Comply with safety standards when helping patients
  • Help residents when they ask for assistance
  • Give residents enough food or water
  • Keep the nursing home clean and safe

When a loved one is harmed due to neglect or mistreatment, it’s important to act quickly. Report nursing home neglect to 911 in the event of a medical emergency. From there, you can reach out to a nursing home negligence attorney who can help you file a legal claim.

Did your loved one suffer from neglect? Pursue justice and financial compensation with help from a nursing home negligence lawyer. Get started today with a free consultation.

How Common Is Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect is tragically common. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 12% of nursing home caregivers admitted to neglecting residents.

This number was actually slightly higher than the rate of nursing home neglect reported by residents or their loved ones (11.6%).

Types of Nursing Home Neglect

There are several types of nursing home neglect. It may be possible to take legal action for any of these types if your loved one was severely harmed.

Types of nursing home neglect include:

  • Medical Neglect

    This occurs when the staff fails to help residents manage their medical needs such as not giving residents medications on time, leaving broken bones or bedsores untreated, or failing to call 911 in an emergency. Some cases may be considered medical malpractice.

  • Neglect of Living Needs

    If a resident doesn’t get enough food, water, or bathroom visits, staff may be neglecting their basic needs. This can lead to severe malnutrition, dehydration, or death.

  • Neglect of Hygiene

    This includes failing to bathe residents, change their clothes/bedsheets, or clean their rooms on a regular basis.

Our trusted advocates can help you and your loved one take legal action. Call us today at (800) 896-7040.

How to File a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit

A male lawyer sits at a desk. A gavel, books, and scales of justice are on the desk.

Through civil lawsuits, nursing homes can be held liable for harming residents. To file a nursing home lawsuit, you need to work with an elder abuse attorney.

These skilled lawyers can listen to the details of your case and build a legal complaint.

This complaint is a legal document and includes:

  • An explanation of how the resident was hurt
  • Relevant facts relating to the incidents of neglect
  • The names of involved parties

Once the complaint has been compiled, your attorneys can help you file the lawsuit and pursue legal compensation.

Nursing home lawyers typically file personal injury lawsuits when a resident has suffered from neglect. If the resident died from nursing home negligence, lawyers may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

When Is It Best to Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence?

Suing a nursing home for negligence is easier if it’s done sooner rather than later. You might not be able to take legal action if you wait too long.

Laws known as statutes of limitations prevent lawsuits from being filed after a certain span of time (usually 3 years or less). Personal injury lawyers can help you file your case before time runs out.

How Much Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Neglect?

The amount of money you’ll receive from suing a nursing home for negligence depends on factors unique to your case. Each nursing home negligence case is different, so compensation amounts vary.

Graphic of a hand holding money with text explaining that nursing home lawsuits typically settle for $406,000 on average.

A study by the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs found that nursing home lawsuits awarded $406,000 on average. However, those who have worked with our team have received $1 million or more in some cases.

Recent neglect settlements have included:

$2 million
Neglect - Massachusetts

A family was awarded $2 million after their loved one developed sepsis in a Massachusetts nursing home and later died.

$1.35 million
Neglect - Alabama

The wife of an Alabama man who died from nursing home neglect received $1.35 million.

$1.2 million
Neglect - Illinois

An Illinois man secured $1.2 million from a settlement. He suffered from kidney infections and pressure ulcers (bedsores) while living in a nursing home.

An experienced elder abuse lawyer can help with suing a nursing home for negligence and getting the most amount of money possible.

Hold Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable

Nursing homes and their staff are in a position of trust. When that trust is broken, it can have devastating consequences for residents and families.

If you think your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, you may need to use your legal rights to protect them.

Suing a nursing home for negligence can help you and your family afford medical treatment and other expenses. Learn if you can file a nursing home neglect case: get a free legal case review right now.

Questions About Suing a Nursing Home for Negligence

What are some reasons to sue a nursing home?

Suing a nursing home for negligence is often a vital step to help your loved ones.

By suing a nursing home for negligence, you can:

  • Afford medical care: Compensation from a lawsuit can cover the nursing home patient’s medical expenses.
  • Hold facilities accountable: Lawsuits can help start the healing process as you’ll be able to take real action against the nursing home facility.
  • Enact change: Suing may force the long-term care facility to make changes so other residents are not harmed.

What’s the first step to filing a nursing home negligence lawsuit?

The first step to suing a nursing home for negligence is to connect with a law firm. Lawyers at these firms can review your case for free and see what actions you can take.

From there, they can help you file a lawsuit if you qualify. Top nursing home abuse lawyers won’t charge any upfront fees and will only get paid if they secure money for you.

Learn more about working with a lawyer now — get a free case review.

How do I prove nursing home negligence harmed my loved one?

You can prove nursing home negligence harmed an older person you loved by gathering evidence and working with an attorney.

You’ll need evidence to show how your loved one was hurt. Be sure to write down any signs of nursing home neglect and take note when you first noticed them.

You can also take pictures of possible signs of neglect (with the consent of the resident) or set up a hidden camera in the resident’s room to catch neglectful staff in the act.

Once you have this initial evidence, go to an attorney. They can do more research to build the strongest case possible, prove your loved one was harmed, and get financial aid in your case.

Who can file a nursing home negligence lawsuit?

A nursing home resident that has suffered neglect can file a lawsuit to seek justice and compensation. If a resident is unable to file on their own, close family members can often file on their behalf.

Further, distant relatives or even non-relatives (like a friend or a trusted lawyer) could be able to file if they have the resident’s power of attorney.

You deserve justice. Get a free legal case review now.

Author:Nursing Home Abuse Justice Team
Nursing Home Abuse Justice Team

Nursing Home Abuse Justice was founded to shine a light on nursing home and elder abuse. Every day, thousands of people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are abused. Our team helps educate seniors and their loved ones on the common causes, signs and preventions of nursing home abuse. We report on real-world studies and current events from respected news outlets to expose this national problem.

Last modified: July 15, 2022

View 4 References
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  2. Findlaw team. Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlements FAQs. Findlaw. (2018, December 6). Retrieved October 11, 2020, from https://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/nursing-home-lawsuit-settlements-faqs.html

  3. Hawes, C. (2003). Elder Abuse in Residential Long-Term Care Settings: What Is Known and What Information Is Needed? Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America. Retrieved October 8, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK98786/

  4. HG Legal Resources. (n.d.). Suing Nursing Homes for Abuse or Neglect. hg.org. Retrieved October 11, 2020, from https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/suing-nursing-homes-for-abuse-or-neglect-47038