Elderly nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable people in our society. Unfortunately, nursing homes are often understaffed, and the staff who is present to care for residents may be stressed or unqualified. All too often, abuse and neglect of elderly residents is committed by the very people who should be caring for them. Both federal and state laws have been enacted to deal with this growing problem. If you or your elderly loved one has been the victim of physical abuse in a nursing home, you may be able to bring a civil lawsuit for damages. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an award-winning Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids nursing home negligence lawyer who has consistently secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases each year for the past several years.Establishing Liability for Physical Abuse
Under 42 CFR 483.13(b), nursing home residents have the right to be free from all forms of abuse, including physical blows and corporal punishment. Moreover, Michigan nursing home regulations and laws add to the protections set forth for residents by the federal government. There are about 15 state laws in this area, and campaigns have begun in various parts of the state. Among other things, the Patient's Bill of Rights in the Public Health Code provides residents with the right to be free from all forms of abuse.
MCL 333.21771(1) states that nursing home administrators, licensees, and employees shall not abuse patients. Abuse refers to any willful infliction of injury, punishment, intimidation, or unreasonable confinement that results in pain, physical harm, or mental anguish. Physical abuse can include hitting, pinching, slapping, kicking, burning, twisting, pulling, striking a resident with an object, or controlling a resident by using corporal punishment.
In Michigan, it is presumed that physical abuse has occurred if there has been an unjustified physical contact with a resident, resulting in harm to the resident. You will have to show that physical contact was made with the resident, either intentionally or carelessly, and this resulted in a physical injury, pain, or death. Additionally, the contact cannot be reasonably justified.
You can report physical abuse of an elderly loved one to the Attorney General, the police, Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, the Department of Human Services, or Adult Protective Services. You can also bring a lawsuit. When you are suing a nursing home for abuse, there may be general allegations of assault, battery, and negligence, as well as allegations of professional negligence by a health care provider.
While general allegations for negligence, assault, and battery will not have limits on damages, there are caps that apply to medical negligence claims. Moreover, if medical negligence is alleged, the plaintiff will have to follow numerous additional procedural requirements. If a nursing home resident dies due to injuries sustained as a result of physical abuse, the family may be able to sue for damages under the Michigan Wrongful Death Act.Consult a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
If you are seeking to recover damages after you or a loved one suffers from abuse, you can enlist the assistance of Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City nursing home negligence attorney Kelly Neumann. At Neumann Law Group, we represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, and Ann Arbor, as well as throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation with an injury attorney. Neumann Law Group also serves individuals and families in California and Massachusetts.