Nursing home abuse simply means poor treatment of elderly people who live in facilities where their facilities are being looked after by professionals. It is a prevalent problem that has been on the rise in recent times.
Noticeably nursing home abuse is now being categorized as a part of medical malpractices. In this article we will look into this issue. Are nursing home abuses really a case of medical malpractice? You will discover the answer in the subsequent paragraphs.
Nevertheless, look up Florida medical malpractice lawyer to hire the service of a well seasoned and experienced lawyer whenever you have a case of medical malpractice to prove in the court.
Without much ado, let’s see what nursing home abuse and medical malpractices are all about.
Medical malpractice simply means due to the negligent actions of a medical expert, he deviates from the standards of the medical profession and as a result of this, the sprint suffers injury.
Nursing home abuse on the other hand means that residents of these facilities suffer emotional, physical, or psychological harm because of the negligent or intentional acts of their caregivers.
With that cleared, let’s look at the differences.
- From the definition above it is clear that medical malpractice usually arise from negligence while nursing home abuse is intentionally done by those who have been employed to cater to the needs of these elderly residents.
- Medical malpractice is usually about a single act of negligence. On the other hand nursing home abuses are not usually a one-time thing. They are a chain of events that happen over a long period of time.
- The law is even more emotive about nursing home abuse, there is a special statute, Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA), governing such abuses while medical malpractice is governed under another statute, the HAMA.
- In establishing cases of nursing home abuses, the defendant may not be limited to the caregiver who has caused the harm; it may also involve the management and other employees as well. But with a case of medical malpractice, just the medical professionals whose negligence caused injury for the patient is usually held liable.
- The NHCA has provision for cost shifting which simply means awarding “actual damages and costs and attorneys’ fees” to a prevailing plaintiff in the event of a judgment. This is not the case with medical malpractice.
In what scenarios can nursing home abuse fall under medical malpractice?
Nursing home have overtime shifted from just helping elderly people to housing and caring even people who suffer from a medical condition.
In cases where the resident who was moved in to receive adequate medical care is not appropriately treated, then you may have to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer to help establish a case against the erring staff as the case may require.
Instances like these include:
- Malfunctioning medical equipment.
- The use of untrained staff to care for such residents.
- Unhealthy living conditions.
- Not engaging the help of a trained medical practitioner to occasionally tend to the residents’ complaints.