Is Nursing Home Abuse Medical Malpractice?

  • No one ever expects their loved ones to suffer from abuse in their nursing home or assisted living facility. Sadly, this happens far more often than you might think, and when it does, you may want to hold the liable party accountable for their abhorrent actions. 

    Because your family member was abused by a nurse, nurse’s assistant, physician, or other medical professional, you may be wondering whether it is appropriate to file a medical malpractice claim against them. 

    Below, we go into further detail about the different types of nursing home abuse and the differences between a nursing home abuse lawsuit and a medical malpractice claim so you can better understand which path is a better fit for your family. Your additional questions can be answered by our team at Wilt and Thompson, PLLC. 

    Are There Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse?

    There are several different types of nursing home abuse that your loved one may be experiencing. The most commonly thought of is physical abuse. This occurs when a healthcare provider hits, kicks, punches, burns, or otherwise physically harms their patient. Bruising, welts, burns, lacerations, and broken bones may be signs of physical abuse.

    Sexual abuse is also more common than you might think. Unwanted sexual contact of any kind, or sexual contact that occurs when a patient is unable to consent are all considered sexual abuse. This type of abuse may be more difficult to notice, but social isolation, promiscuity, depression, and anxiety may be signs to look out for. 

    Other types of nursing home abuse that a relative may be victim to include financial abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse. Financial abuse can also take several forms, some of which might include:

    • Missing money
    • Missing checks
    • Sudden changes to important financial documents
    • Changes in power of attorney
    • Unexplained checks 
    • Unexplained purchases

    Differences Between Nursing Home Abuse Claims and Medical Malpractice Claims

    Nursing home abuse of any kind is abhorrent, but it does not always rise to the level of medical malpractice. In order for medical malpractice to be present, a healthcare provider must have violated the medical standard of care

    For example, in cases of neglect, which is a type of nursing home abuse, filing a medical malpractice claim would be appropriate, as the healthcare provider failed to uphold the standard of care expected of them. 

    Some examples of medical malpractice in nursing homes could include:

    • Medication errors
    • Misdiagnosis
    • Abuse of medical restraints
    • Improperly trained medical staff

    It isn’t only healthcare providers that can be held accountable for nursing home abuse and medical malpractice that occur in assisted living and nursing home facilities. These facilities could also be named as liable in the lawsuit depending on the details of your case. 

    Reach Out to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Kentucky

    If you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit due to abuse your family member endured in a nursing home environment, contact an experienced Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer at Wilt and Thompson, PLLC. You can find us online or give our office a call at 502-253-9110 when you are ready to schedule a free consultation.