Assisted living care facilities do not have to get away with acts of negligence. You can hold them legally and financially accountable for their actions by filing a lawsuit in the event of injuries. However, to have a valid case, the injuries have to be resulting from an act of negligence. You need to prove that the actions or inactions of the facility led to the harm. Before going into what constitutes negligence, let’s first understand the services an assisted living facility should provide.
Assisted living facility services
Here are some services that residents in an assisted living facility should access:
- Supervision and medication
- Regular healthy meals
- Cleaning services and help with laundry
- Sanitary living and sleeping quarters
- Help with chores and activities like dressing
When can you sue for negligence?
Assisted living facilities have a role to play. They provide excellent care for the vulnerable residents put in their trust in exchange for some compensation. When a facility knowingly fails to extend protection to the people in their care, injuries may happen. The negative impact is not always physical. Negligence could lead to emotional distress for a vulnerable resident. It is not fair for loved ones to fork out significant sums of money to a facility if it does not guarantee the utmost care and protection. Fortunately, one can sue for negligence when the following instances happen:
- The premises are not safe
Assisted living facilities need to ensure safe and accessible living areas for their residents. Part of the fee for staying in the facility should cover such expenses. The bathrooms, bedroom, and outdoor space need to be sanitary and liveable. You can sue if there are any known hazards on the premises. It counts as an act of negligence if the facility does not ensure reasonable safety in its facility. The residents need assurance that they can get a safe place to stay that they would not have got at home.
- The hiring practices fall short
If a facility hires an employee that is not qualified or licensed, they are liable if any harm happens in the hands of the under trained staff. An assisted living facility needs to vet and conduct background checks on anyone that they leave to take care of the residents. It is the responsibility of the facility to act in urgency when there are complaints, poor reviews and quality issues from a member of their staff. They should train and supervise their employees to ensure quality care. Any harm resulting from inadequate hiring practices does count as an act of negligence.
- The residents do not get supervision
Residents in an assisted living facility need some assistance to go through their daily life. Hence why they leave their home and pay to receive the extra help. A facility should be responsible if an avoidable injury occurs due to a lack of supervision.
- The facility ignores the needs of the residents
Residents in assisted living facilities need clean and healthy food, water, hygienic spaces etc. If any illness or harm happens because the facility did not monitor the specific needs of the patients, they should be liable. For instance, if they give a resident food that they are allergic to, leading to health complications, that is a valid reason to sue. Assisted living facilities need to be careful with their residents’ needs.
- Failure to offer medical care
The facility needs to seek medical treatment for any resident that falls sick on their premises. If a patient does not receive medical care, the facility should be liable. You can seek help from nursing home abuse lawyer services if the health of your loved one has deteriorated due to negligence in a care facility.
- Not adhering to health safety protocols
Since assisted living facilities offer food to their residents, they need to follow food safety protocols. They should follow all health department regulations and have all the necessary licences. The facility needs to be responsible if a patient gets ill from eating poorly stored food or contracting foodborne diseases.
How do you file for negligence?
If a loved one experiences abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility, the facility and staff need to be accountable for their actions (or lack thereof). However, it is not always easy to prove that the facility is directly responsible for negligence and liability. That is why your safest bet would be nursing home abuse lawyer services. They specialize in such cases and would know how to go about the legal processes. An experienced attorney will also help the victim get suitable compensation for their injuries.
Negligence in assisted living facilities should not go under the radar. Vulnerable residents and their loved ones need assurance that the facilities are safe. Any facilities taking advantage of the trust bestowed on them can face the consequences of their negligence.