The Duty in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
The duty owed is a legal term that defines a certain standard of care that must be upheld or be found liable. The nursing home has a responsibility to provide its residents with a level of reasonable care, to protect the residents and provide them with a safe environment, and to uphold the dignity and quality of life of the residents when accepting them into the nursing home.
Should the nursing home or any of its staff fail its duty, resulting in a nursing home abuse case in Tampa, the resident and their loved ones have the right to hold the nursing home liable for damages. If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact a Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer today.
Facility Employees Duty
Every employee that will be in contact with the residents of the nursing home undertakes this duty. Whether the person is a nursing home employee, outside doctor, or temporary worker coming in, each person has the duty to use reasonable care in caring for the nursing home residents.
The duty of care also extends to people that are not employees of the facility. The employees have the responsibility to make sure that residents are not left unattended with people that are not there to actually visit that resident.
This heightened legal duty exists because residents of nursing homes can be seen as easy targets. They often cannot defend themselves and may have physical or mental incapacities that cause them to not be reliable sources of reporting nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home vs. Hospital Duty of Care
A hospital’s duty of care is to not commit medical negligence, whereas a nursing home’s duty of care is focused on a more reasonable standard.
Medical negligence requires that a certain doctor commits and sign off on negligence. However, in nursing home cases, an ordinary standard of negligence can result because employees are in constant contact with residents.
The standard of care for nursing homes is closer to a reasonable standard. It does not have the same heightened duty as a hospital that can fall under medical malpractice or medical negligence cases. In this sense, nursing home negligence cases can be easier to pursue because the standard of care is more of a reasonable standard as opposed to the standard of a medical doctor or medical facility.
The rights of a patient in a nursing home are the right to be treated with dignity and respect, the right to be informed in writing about services and fees, the right to manage his or her own money or choose someone to do this, the right to privacy, the right to keep his or her personal belongings and properties as they are. Additionally, they have the right to be informed about their medical condition, medication, and to see his or her own doctor, and the right to choose his or her own schedule. Finally, the residents have a right to an environment similar to a home that maximizes their comfort and provides that person with assistance and independence.