Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate occurrence in our society. According to a 2001 government report, one out of every three nursing homes in the U.S. was cited for some type of abuse over the span of two years. Additionally, much elder abuse goes unreported because many victims are unable to communicate the details of the abuse to others.
If you suspect your parent has been abused, whether physically or sexually, you very well may have a case. In Pennsylvania, most nursing home abuse cases fall under two types of claims:
- Failure to provide a reasonably safe environment or
- Negligent hiring or retention
In the first type of claim, the nursing home could be liable for the abuse if they knowingly put a resident in an environment where they could be harmed. This if often seen when employees leave residents alone with other residents who are known to act violently. Sometimes, violent behavior is exhibited by residents with anxiety, depression, or dementia and the nursing home should take proper precautions to avoid conflict. The same principle applies to employees with violent tendencies.
The second type of claim pertains to employees who assault nursing home residents. If the nursing home fails to conduct proper background checks or hires an employee despite having knowledge of a violent past, the nursing home could be liable. Additionally, the nursing home is responsible for following up on complaints made by residents as well as other employees.
Of course, every case is different. You should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discover the right course of action to get justice for your parent.