Medical Neglect

Knoxville Attorney Holding Nursing Homes Accountable

If elderly people are not given appropriate medical care while living at a nursing home, they may have a basis to sue in a nursing home negligence lawsuit. One of their claims may be a claim for medical neglect. While elder abuse involves intentional misconduct, neglect arises in the context of negligence or a failure to act when there is a duty to act. Nursing homes in East Tennessee must abide by industry standards set by federal and state laws when caring for seniors; medical neglect that causes harm to a resident may be actionable. If you are in this difficult situation, Knoxville nursing home negligence lawyer Mark Hartsoe may be able to represent you in a lawsuit for damages.

Understanding Your Options in a Case of Medical Neglect

Nursing homes must adhere to a high standard of care by following federal and state laws in connection with the care that they provide. Additionally, nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare funds must follow the rules for safe facilities set forth under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Nursing homes that do not follow the laws and regulations related to the provision of medical services, thereby allowing a resident to be injured, may be liable for medical neglect.

To establish medical neglect, a plaintiff’s attorney needs to prove that there was a duty on the party of the nursing home to provide medical services, a breach of this duty, causation, and actual damages. Often, the critical issue is whether the person who neglected a resident behaved in the way that a reasonable caregiver would behave under the same or similar circumstances. Situations in which medical neglect claims may be brought include a failure to take steps to address malnutrition or dehydration, a failure to treat bedsores, or a failure to send a patient to the hospital after he or she suffers injuries.

Often, a medical neglect claim is accompanied by a medical malpractice claim against the doctor, nurses, or other health care providers. Medical malpractice claims may be brought when a doctor or other health care provider's conduct falls below the professional standard of care. Often, it is necessary to retain an expert. We will need to file a certificate of good faith within 90 days, indicating that we consulted one or more experts about the case and that they signed a written statement that there is a good-faith basis for the action or that a good-faith basis cannot be decided from evidence that is currently available. When a certificate of good faith is not filed within 90 days, the court can dismiss the case with prejudice, which stops you from filing it again.

The expert whom we retain to testify at trial needs to be licensed to practice in Tennessee or a state bordering it, and he or she must be licensed in a specialty that causes his or her testimony to be relevant to the injuries that are at issue. The expert needs to have practiced in that profession or specialty in the year prior to the injury date.

There are other situations in which there are insufficient doctors to provide proper care at a nursing home. Or in other cases, the doctor who was handling the care of a specific resident was not qualified to provide the particular type of medical treatment necessary.

Sometimes medical neglect by nursing home staff causes a serious problem, such as a bedsore. The patient must then be transferred to a hospital or medical facility. Substandard care received at the hospital or medical facility may also contribute to a poor outcome for the resident. If nursing home staff and health care provider negligence combine to cause injuries or death, the jury can allocate liability to each party. Damages can be apportioned.

Retain a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in the Knoxville Area

If you or a loved one is injured in a Tennessee nursing home due to medical neglect, you should consult an experienced lawyer. Mark Hartsoe can advise you on whether it is appropriate to bring a nursing home negligence or medical malpractice lawsuit. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at 865-804-1011 or contact us through our online form. We also represent people in Clinton, Oak Ridge, Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville, LaFollette, Tazewell, Newport, Crossville, Jamestown, Rutledge, Greeneville, Morristown, Chattanooga, Dandridge, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Madisonville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Athens, and other communities in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, McMinn, and Bradley Counties.

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