Medical Negligence in Nursing Homes

When the medical staff or nursing staff employed at a nursing home does not provide the standard of care which is appropriate and legally required to the patients of the nursing home, it can result in you or your loved one suffering an injury or an illness in a care home.

Nursing home negligence claims can arise from physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect. The majority of patients or residents in nursing homes are older, frail, and often vulnerable, and given their dependency on the nursing home, they can at times be reluctant to voice their concerns about the substandard or negligent care that they have received.

The most common types of cases that we have dealt with relating to nursing homes are as follows;

  1. Injuries arising from falls and mishandling.
    These can arise from the patient not being adequately supervised, not being provided with the appropriate mobility aids, or mobility aids being defective.
  2. Medication and prescription errors.
    This applies if you or your loved one have received the wrong dosage of medication or the incorrect medication.
  3. Pressure ulcers and sores.
    Pressure sores and ulcers can develop as the result of plaster or a dressing is put on incorrectly, or alternatively, a patient’s skin is in contact with a bed for a long period of time. Pressure sores can be extremely painful and can take considerable time to heal if they heal at all. Infections can result from pressure sores which can inhibit the patient’s ability to walk or move.
  4. Injuries arising from neglect and/or abuse.
    Nursing home neglect is a serious breach of duty that can result in harm to a nursing home resident. Physical neglect generally arises from a nursing home resident’s hygiene and/or basic needs, for example, they may not be bathed properly or given food or water. Medical neglect arises from nursing home staff failing to provide the necessary medication or treatment, failing to engage in the mobility movements to prevent bedsores, etc.

Abuse can arise in a nursing home or care home setting and can arise from injuries inflicted by another patient or resident, and the nursing home has a duty of care to ensure the safety of its residents at all times.

What are the time limits for bringing a medical negligence care home claim?

If you believe you or a loved one may have a medical negligence care home claim, it is important that you contact a solicitor who specialises in this area of law as soon as possible as there are some very strict time limits.

The time limit for bringing the claim is set by the Statute of Limitations Act which provides that you must bring the claim within a period of two years from the date of the injury inflicted or alternatively two years from your date of knowledge that the injury was inflicted.

Once proceedings are issued the nursing home negligence case can take approximately, 2-3 years to come before the courts for hearing, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of experts that are required together with the defence delivered by the nursing home or care home provider.

Early legal assistance can be vital as the time limits for bringing an action are very strict, therefore, if you believe that you or a loved one have suffered as a result of substandard nursing home care then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the nursing home or care home in question and we are happy to have an initial consultation with you where we will give you an initial assessment and advise you of your options.

With a wealth of experience in the area of medical negligence, we at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors are well equipped in dealing with nursing home negligence cases in relation to either yourself or your loved one.

What level of compensation will I or my loved one receive for a medical negligence nursing home claim?

The level of compensation payable to you or your loved one is directly related to the level of injury and trauma that you or your loved one suffered together with the impact that the negligent treatment has had on your quality of life. Compensation is usually broken down into two parts:

  1. General damages. This is compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured to date together with the likely pain and suffering that you will endure into the future.
  2. Special damages. These are items of expenditure and financial loss that you have incurred up to the date of the court award and possible likely future financial losses, for example, the cost of any private treatment, medication, aids, and appliances, loss of earnings to date, loss of earnings into the future, the cost of any ongoing care and treatment required.

Our experience in medical negligence care home claims

Our experienced team at McElhinney & Associates has worked on various types of nursing home claims involving falls in the nursing home setting, pressure ulcers that have become infected and failed to heal, and medication prescription errors.

We act in all cases ranging from the most simple to the most complex and we have developed expertise in this area so we know how to prepare and progress your claim to achieve the optimum level of compensation for you or your loved one.

*In contentious business a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

**This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by McElhinney & Associates for any action taken in reliance on the information contained herein. Any and all information is subject to change.

cancer misdiagnosis claim