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Proving Nursing Home Neglect When the Defendant Has Dementia

Due to federal and state laws, nursing homes have a tremendous task of ensuring that their residents are provided with a safe existence. While nursing home neglect is commonly interpreted as the failure of an understaffed and possibly inadequately trained facility, many people do not realize that neglect also includes failure of the staff to protect the resident from abuse perpetrated by other residents.

Many nursing home residents suffer from dementia, and this condition can present with aggressive behaviors that may be taken out on anyone in the vicinity. If your loved one was harmed by a defendant with dementia, the facility itself can be found liable for the expenses and impacts of their injury, as they failed to take actions to prevent the abuse from occurring. An experienced nursing home neglect attorney from Dalli & Marino, LLP can help you understand how to file a claim against the facility and the elements you need to prove in order to have a successful claim.

Why Is the Facility Liable for the At-Fault Resident’s Actions?

Nursing home facilities have many responsibilities in order to keep residents safe. They are tasked with hiring qualified personnel to work at the facility and ensuring that staff is properly trained. They are also required to develop a plan for the residents that incorporates the resident’s needs, involves their family members, and documents issues pertaining to their care. Lastly, they are required to identify safety risks both pertaining to the facility itself as well as the services provided in order to protect residents from becoming injured.

It is this final point that makes the facility liable when a resident with dementia causes injury to other residents. Staff working with the resident that has dementia are required to document changes to their behavior that can result in harm. They’re also required to develop a protocol for caring for the patient that keeps others safe. 

They are expected to supervise the resident when they are in the presence of others and to intervene if the resident becomes violent toward others. While a resident with dementia cannot necessarily control their own aggressive behaviors, the staff and the facility are tasked with controlling those behaviors to the extent that they could result in harm.

What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Nursing Home Neglect When the Defendant Has Dementia?

When a resident with dementia harms another resident at a nursing home facility, the injured resident, and often their family members, can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of the injury that was incurred through the personal injury claims process. This process generally involves filing a claim against the facility’s medical malpractice or general liability policy. If the insurer fails to compensate the claim, it can also be filed as a lawsuit in civil court. However, in order to have a positive outcome to either a claim or a lawsuit, the facility’s liability must be proven.

There are several types of evidence that can come into play in a nursing home neglect case. Often, there are witnesses who saw the abuse take place and can provide testimony about what they saw. Additionally, the care plan for the resident with dementia can be evaluated and staff who cared for the resident can be interviewed to determine if there was a plan in place to prevent the resident from harming people and whether that plan was followed.

Medical documentation for both the abusive resident as well as the resident who was harmed also has an important purpose in a nursing home neglect case. It can verify the dementia in the abusive resident and identify information about previous violent behavior that the resident exhibited. For the injured resident, medical documentation can validate the injury claim and help to justify the value of the compensation being sought on the resident’s behalf.

If Your Loved One Was Neglected In a Nursing Home, Contact Dalli & Marino, LLP

Discovering that your loved one has been injured at their nursing home due to the facility’s failure to protect them from the actions of other residents is a difficult and often lonely situation to be in. Your loved one deserves to have a legal team that will push past the excuses for the behavior and look at the real problem: the facility’s negligence. The legal team at Dalli & Marino, LLP is dedicated to providing the personalized attention that injured nursing home residents and their families need.

Let an experienced nursing home neglect attorney from Dalli & Marino, LLP help you understand the legal options available for your loved one if the nursing home that was entrusted with their care failed to protect them. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (888) 465-8790. Our team also speaks Spanish.

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