Understaffed Nursing Homes Violate a Legal Duty of Care
The short answer is Yes. Nursing homes can be held liable for injuries and damages that result from the failure to staff adequately. When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you are also placing a great deal of trust in that facility. You trust that it will follow the law and reasonable norms and standards of the nursing homes industry.
Nursing owe a reasonable duty of care to their patients. Part of this duty of care is to staff the nursing adequately to manage the needs of nursing home residents and address health issues or medical emergencies of elderly residents that may arise.
If a nursing home fails to staff itself adequately, the nursing home violates not only the trust you placed in it but also the legal duty of care it owed to your loved one. Both Missouri and Kansas law allow an aggrieved party to recover compensation for injuries and damages that result from a breach of this duty of care.
How to Prove a Nursing Home is Understaffed in Kansas or Missouri
If understaffing caused a patient to be injured, abused, or neglected, the nursing home can be held liable if it was negligent or broke the law. Proving that understaffing was the reason for the patient’s injury or condition can be challenging.
However, an experienced Kansas City nursing home abuse attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the patient’s injury or condition, including obtaining the staffing records for the nursing home.
Medical experts can use staffing records and other evidence to determine if patients in the nursing home were adversely impacted by the lack of skilled nurses and other staff members to provide care for the residents.
If the nursing home was negligent or committed wrongdoing regarding staffing requirements, it can be held liable for damages including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization, medications, medical equipment, physicians’ bills, and personal care
- Permanent impairments and disability
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders
In cases involving gross negligence or willful, wanton disregard for the safety of the patients, the nursing home could be liable for punitive damages. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases, but they do exist to punish defendants for exceptional acts of negligence and wrongdoing that cause injury to others.
Contact a Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for Help
Patients in a nursing home are often vulnerable. We need to protect nursing home patients by aggressively pursuing all allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect. One way to hold negligent nursing homes accountable is through the civil justice system, which allows abuse victims and family members to recover compensation for damages they suffer.
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents clients in Missouri and Kansas. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call 816-203-0143 to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City to discuss options for holding the facility liable for your loved one’s suffering.