Did your loved one wander off from the assisted living facility or nursing home where they live? If so, it’s natural to wonder if you have a claim for negligent nursing home security. It’s hard enough to commit our loved ones to a nursing home. However, when you make that decision, you literally put your loved one’s life in the hands of the nursing home staff.
If your loved one wanders away from the home (the nursing home industry calls this “elopement”) or is the victim of some other act of misconduct that led to injuries, you might be able to file a claim for negligent security. However, remember that accidents happen, and even the best nursing home staff can make an honest mistake. So, how do you know the difference? Keep reading to find a few questions that may help guide you while deciding.
What Is Negligent Security in a Nursing Home?
In most cases, when an avoidable security lapse leads to an accident, negligence is the root cause. At a nursing home, examples of negligent security would include:
- Inadequate procedures to account for the whereabouts of all nursing home residents
- Inadequate security or monitoring of areas (e.g., exit doors) where residents could leave the home without supervision
- Insufficient measures to protect residents’ personal property (e.g., money or forms of identification)
- Inadequate processes to prevent the theft or misuse of medication prescribed to residents
- Inadequate supervision of nursing home employees and staff
Any combination of these failures could result in a tragic injury to a nursing home resident.
How Do I Collect Damages for a Negligent Nursing Home Security Claim?
To demand damages in a case of what you believe to be negligent nursing home security, you must demonstrate how:
- The nursing home had an obligation to provide security that met an objective professional standard.
- The nursing home’s security procedures did not meet that standard.
- Your loved one suffered harm because the facility failed to meet its security obligations.
- You or your loved one sustained losses due to the harm they suffered.
Are There Indicators of Negligent Nursing Home Security?
When you visit your loved one at a nursing home, you should always remain vigilant. This attentiveness should begin the minute you walk into the facility. So, ask yourself these questions:
- Was the front door or front desk staffed when you walked in?
- Does the front desk attendant check IDs and verify that visitors (or vendors) are who they say they are and have a legitimate reason to be at the facility?
- Are there nursing home patients wandering the halls aimlessly without supervision?
- Does there seem to be enough staff members at the facility to keep it secure?
Aside from these questions, you can talk to your loved one at the nursing home. For example, are they complaining about items being taken from them? Are they still possessing the personal effects they had the last time you visited? Many thieves begin by stealing trivial things, so take note if you notice your loved one’s favorite hat or an article of clothing you gave them missing since your last visit.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Negligent Nursing Home Security?
First, if you believe that negligent nursing home security endangers your loved one, you might need to move them out immediately. Next, document your concerns and ask to speak to a nursing home supervisor about them. Then, note the date and time you have this conversation and inform the supervisor you will follow up with them for an update in a few weeks.
Finally, follow up as you indicated—not only with the supervisor but with your loved one. What concrete steps has the facility taken to improve the situation? Do you or your loved one notice the security improvements? Are they working? If you don’t like the answers to these questions, you might need to consider removing your loved one from that nursing home.
Is Legal Action Necessary in a Negligent Nursing Home Security Case?
Do you believe the security procedures at the nursing home where your loved one resides are inadequate? Have these inadequate measures caused injury or damage to your loved one? If so, you have options. A negligent nursing home security attorney can help you hold the nursing home accountable.
Brown and Barron specializes in fighting for the rights of nursing home neglect and abuse victims. The attorneys on our team have nearly 140 years of trial experience, and we’ve recovered more than $82 million in damages for our clients. So, if you think you have a negligent nursing home security claim, contact us today. We’re committed to getting justice for you and your loved ones.