Nursing homes are intended to offer elderly and disabled patients a safe and caring living environment. Unfortunately, when nursing homes fail to exercise reasonable care, the consequences can be devastating. When nursing home staff fail to properly care for, feed, bath, toilet, and clothe residents, patients can suffer injuries and possible death.
If your loved one suffered injury or death resulting from nursing home abuse or negligence in Kentucky, we can help. Federal and state laws protect nursing home residents against abuse and negligence. We understand how devastating it can be to learn that your at-risk loved one suffered abuse. That is why our hometown lawyers treat our clients compassionately while effectively representing their best interests. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Provide a Safe Environment for Residents
In 2018, a Kentucky nursing home resident fell to his death down a stairwell. Nobody found him for over nine hours. When the man disappeared, the nursing home staff assumed that he left for an unscheduled trip with his family despite nobody signing him out. No staff member noticed his absence and the staircase that he accidentally rolled into with his motorized wheelchair was not properly secured. The lock and alarm on the emergency staircase were broken at the time of the accident.
Sadly, the nursing home resident suffocated in the stairwell due to the weight of his wheelchair putting pressure on his chest. The nursing home paid a $73,710 fine to the state of Kentucky and settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of the victim. Unfortunately, incidents such as this one are not uncommon in Virginia and Kentucky nursing homes. The facility at which this resident died received 44 inspection deficiencies, many classified as putting residents in “immediate jeopardy” or “actual harm.”
Bringing a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Abuse
The state of Kentucky has a specific statute that establishes the standard of care nursing homes must meet. Every nursing home resident in Kentucky is entitled to the care necessary to receive the “highest physical and mental functional status.”
Residents have several specific rights under the law. While some exceptions apply, most of the time, nursing homes must notify the resident’s next of kin when any of the following conditions occur:
- The medical or physical status of the resident changes
- A significant change in the patient’s treatment occurs
- An accident occurs that results in a resident’s injury
- The nursing home decided to transfer or discharge the patient
If the nursing home receives money from Medicaid or Medicare, it is subject to the federal Nursing Home Reform Act which provides residents specific rights. Violations of state and federal nursing home laws are not enough to prove that a nursing home is liable. However, injured residents can use the violations to prove negligence.
Succeeding in a Nursing Home Negligence or Abuse Lawsuit
To succeed in a nursing home personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the nursing home breached the duty of care it owed to the injured resident. The plaintiff must also prove that the nursing home’s negligence or recklessness caused his or her injuries. If your loved one suffered injuries from the negligence of a nursing home, we can help. Contact our hometown law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.