Who is Liable for Nursing Home Injury or Abuse?

December 21, 2022

No one should ever have to worry about whether or not their loved one is safe in a nursing home. These are supposed to be places where those who can no longer properly care for themselves can receive the treatment they deserve. Here, we want to discuss who could be held liable for a nursing home injury or nursing home abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Information available from the National Council on aging shows that approximately one out of every 10 adults aged 60 or over experience elder abuse. There are some estimates that say as many as five million elderly individuals are abused each year, though other studies say that this number is likely far underreported.

Much of this abuse takes place inside of nursing homes or assisted living facilities, typically because elderly individuals are essentially on their own and without an advocate.

Who Could be Held Liable?

There may be various parties who could be held liable for nursing home injuries or abuse. This can include the nursing home itself, third parties responsible for nursing home care, companies responsible for manufacturing defective products, any individuals directly involved in the abuse or neglect, or even government entities who failed their oversight duties.

Nursing homes have a strict duty of care to their residents, which means they are responsible for providing important services, including food, shelter, medical care, and hygiene. Staff members at a nursing home must do everything required by law, including providing medications, preparing food, helping individuals bathe or dress, assisting with physical therapy, and more.

If the actions of a staff member cause injury or illness to a nursing home resident, then the nursing home will likely be held responsible through vicarious liability. This will occur regardless of whether or not the injury occurred as a result of an accident or was an intentional act of abuse or neglect.

Typically, a personal injury lawsuit filed after an abuse claim will name the individual or individuals responsible for the abuse as well as the nursing home facility overall as defendants. Additionally, the overall negligence of the nursing home ownership or supervision may contribute to a systemic culture of abuse and neglect. This can include failing to adequately train staff, negligence with hiring practices, failing to monitor staff, inadequate security, failing to inspect and maintain facilities, and more. In these instances, a lawsuit may simply name the nursing home as the defendant in the claim.

If a nursing home resident’s injury or illness is caused by a defective product, this could result in a lawsuit against the product company or manufacturer as well. This would be considered a product liability claim and fall under the theory of strict liability, meaning it will not be necessary to prove negligence in order to recover compensation.

Compensation Available for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Claims

There may be various types of compensation available for those who have been victims of abuse or neglect in a West Virginia nursing home. Typically, we work to recover both economic and noneconomic damages for clients, including the following:

  • Coverage of all medical expenses arising due to the injury or illness
  • Lost wages for family members if they have to care for the individual who has been harmed
  • Payment for relocation to a new facility or coverage of current facility costs
  • Payment for physical therapy or rehabilitation
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages

There is no set amount of compensation paid for these claims, but your Martinsburg nursing home abuse attorney will help you understand what you may be entitled to for your particular situation.


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