Nursing Home Negligence
COLUMBIA ATTORNEY SEEKING JUSTICE FOR INJURED SENIOR CITIZENS
There is no excuse for a nursing home that neglects its residents. Unfortunately, about one-third of all U.S. licensed care facilities have received at least one citation for violating federal safety standards, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. A person injured by staff at a nursing home has a right to seek justice in Missouri. If you or a relative have been hurt by people who should be caring for the elderly, the nursing home negligence lawyer Matt Uhrig can help you pursue a case in the Columbia area or elsewhere in this state.
HOLD A NEGLIGENT MISSOURI NURSING HOME ACCOUNTABLE
A licensed care facility that has negligently harmed one of its residents may be liable for damages if the injured person files a lawsuit. To prevail in court, the plaintiff must establish the four main elements of a negligence claim, which are:
- The nursing home owed the resident a legal duty of care;
- The nursing home breached the duty by acting carelessly or failing to act when an action was needed;
- The resident’s injuries were caused by the breach; and
- The resident suffered quantifiable damages as a result.
Most people owe a duty of reasonable care to others affected by their actions. This means that they must avoid exposing those around them to unreasonable risk. In some cases, such as medical malpractice actions, defendants may owe their patients a different duty of care.
A breach occurs when a defendant fails to live up to this duty. Allowing residents to develop bed sores, suffer from malnutrition, or experience abuse are all examples of a licensed care facility unreasonably exposing residents to a risk of harm. If a negligence lawsuit is filed in those situations, the nursing home probably will be found to have breached its duty.
To hold a defendant liable, however, simply showing a breach is not enough. The defendant’s breach must have caused the senior citizen’s harm. If the injury would have happened even if the nursing home staff had not acted carelessly, the facility cannot be held liable. Foreseeability also plays an important role in determining causation. An injury that was not foreseeable may not result in liability.
A plaintiff who proves duty, breach, and causation must prove that actual damages resulted from the injury. These can be both economic and non-economic, compensating a senior citizen who suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect for his or her physical, emotional, and financial injuries.
In the tragic event that a negligent licensed care facility is responsible for a resident’s death, the decedent’s family may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. This claim must allege some underlying wrongful behavior, such as negligence, so the same elements of negligence must be shown to prevail. The damages available in a wrongful death action, however, are slightly different. Since these lawsuits are more complex, you should consult an attorney knowledgeable in this area before filing your claim.
SEEK LEGAL GUIDANCE WHEN PURSUING COMPENSATION IN JEFFERSON CITY
Nursing homes that are entrusted with serving the elderly or sick must provide competent care. When these facilities don’t live up to their legally imposed duties, residents can suffer serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a negligent nursing home in Columbia, Jefferson City, or elsewhere in Missouri, the injury attorney Matt Uhrig can help you seek compensation. Call (573) 657-2050 or email us to schedule a free initial consultation.