Claims of long term care negligence may often arise from:
- a resident's fall due to lack of supervision or improper transfer;
- pressure ulcers or bed sores;
- assault by staff or another resident;
- medication errors;
- choking on food, medication, or other foreign object;
- failure to monitor and notify a physician of certain health conditions or symptoms; and
- untreated infections.
Nursing homes are among the most highly regulated health care providers. In a 1986 study, the Institute of Medicine found widespread issues in the delivery of nursing home care. In 1987, Congress passed the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act. Ohio has also adopted its own set of laws to protect the rights of nursing home residents.
Many long term care cases also involve assisted living facilities. In Ohio, residents of both nursing homes and assisted living facilities are protected by the Residents' Rights Statute, which includes the right to a safe environment; the right to be free from abuse and to be treated with courtesy, respect, and dignity; the right to adequate and appropriate medical and nursing care; the right to be free from financial exploitation; and many others.
Unfortunately, in spite of government regulation, neglect and abuse in long term care is still all too common. A report released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in February of 2014 found that an estimated 22% of Medicare recipients in nursing homes experienced adverse events related to resident care, medications, and/or infection. The report determined that 59% of those adverse events were preventable.
When evaluating a potential long term care case, we investigate the facts and circumstances of the resident's experience to determine whether or not serious harm or death of a loved one should have been avoided.
With limited exceptions, a lawsuit for long term care negligence must be filed within one year of the occurrence of the resulting injury. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to neglect or abuse at a nursing home or other long term care facility, you should discuss it with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible.