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Determining Liability for Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

Establishing Legal Responsibility for Wrongful Care in a Nursing Home

Liability for Nursing Home NeglectAccording to national studies, up to five million senior citizens may be victims of abuse or neglect in the United States every year. Some estimates suggest that as many as one of every 10 persons over the age of 60 has been subjected to physical abuse or neglect. When you consider that experts believe that less than one in every 10 incidents of such abuse or neglect are even reported, the scope of the problem comes into focus.

When your loved one has suffered needlessly because of inappropriate behavior or care in a nursing home or other care facility, you can bring legal action to recover damages for their losses. One of the challenges, though, is determining exactly who is potentially liable for the abuse or neglect. Though you may be able to identify an employee who has engaged in wrongful conduct, that person may not have any financial resources, so you may not be able to meaningfully pursue monetary damages. However, the facility typically carries liability insurance, so it’s customarily to your benefit to identify ways that the owners or operators of the nursing home participated in the wrongful conduct.

A nursing home facility may have liability if the actions that caused injury were the result of:

  • Inadequate or inappropriate staffing—That may involve understaffing or staffing certain positions with unqualified or unskilled workers
  • Negligence in hiring—Failure to ascertain whether potential employees had the experience, skill or training to properly perform their duties
  • Negligence in training or supervision—Failure to ensure that workers had the requisite skills and knowledge to ensure the safety of residents
  • Violation of laws or regulations governing the nursing home business
  • Medication errors—The facility may have liability if proper protocols were not in place to ensure proper administration of drugs

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Common Examples of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse


When your loved one needs more attentive care after an injury or in declining years, you expect and want a high level of personal care, and the confidence that they’ll be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, nursing homes often put profits ahead of patient well-being, hiring unskilled workers, providing them with inadequate training or supervision, and understaffing so that they are overworked.

Here are some of the telltale signs that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse:

  • Indications of physical abuse—The most common type of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility is physical. If a caregiver won’t let you be alone with your loved one, you should be suspicious. If your loved one has bruises, black and blue marks, cuts or welts, or worse yet—broken bones, sprains or dislocations—you need to find out why. Monitor your loved one’s arms and legs to see if there’s any indication of straps or other restraints being used. Also, check your loved one’s prescriptions—do they look like they are being used? If not, find out why.
  • Evidence of emotional abuse—Look for unusual behavior from your family member. Are they suddenly less talkative or unwilling to look you in the eye? Are they mumbling or rocking a lot? These can be symptoms of emotional abuse. Also, monitor the behavior of the caregiver when you are there. Are there instances of controlling or threatening actions?
  • Signs of financial abuse—Financial exploitation of nursing home residents can take many forms. Is your loved one not getting medical care despite having the financial resources? Is there missing cash from your loved one’s room? Are there unexplained withdrawals from their bank account, including ATM withdrawals when they were unable to leave the nursing home? Have they changed a life insurance policy or other property and named the nursing home as its beneficiary?

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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