Peer on Peer Abuse

Knoxville Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Peer on peer abuse is more prevalent than abuse by nursing home staff, according to research from Cornell University. Nursing homes that admit residents who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer's, or other psychiatric disorders with violent tendencies must evaluate their residents to determine whether they have a tendency to abuse others. There must be a proper plan of care in place. Knoxville nursing home abuse lawyer Mark Hartsoe may be able to represent victims of elder abuse in East Tennessee nursing homes in pursuing compensation against irresponsible facilities or staff.

Harm Caused by Peer on Peer Abuse

Most people associate nursing home abuse with staff member misconduct or negligence. However, peer on peer abuse is common. People live close together in nursing homes, and many residents have lower inhibitions due to dementia, psychiatric conditions, or medications. All residents are entitled to be free from abuse while living in a nursing home, regardless of the source. While it may not be possible to entirely eliminate the possibility of emotional or physical abuse, a nursing home that does not protect its residents from peer on peer abuse may be held liable for damages.

Peer on peer abuse can include both verbal and physical abuse. It can include screaming, pushing, punching, or kicking. It can leave physical injuries and emotional wounds. A nursing home can be held liable for peer on peer abuse in some situations.

Both state and federal laws are in place to prevent abuse in nursing homes. Employees must, by law, report any abuse that they observe in a nursing home. Additionally, the facility is supposed to have a nursing service available, and that nursing service should appropriately address any injuries inflicted by peers. Any type of medical neglect may form the basis of a claim.

Legal remedies may be available under the Tennessee Adult Protection Act when a nursing home knows that abuse is occurring but does not take adequate measures to report and stop it. There may be criminal charges, but this does not necessarily help an abused resident. In some cases, nursing home residents may be able to sue in civil court for compensatory and punitive damages as long as they are covered adults under TAPA.

In some cases, it is appropriate for a victim’s attorney to assert common-law causes of action. For example, it may be appropriate to sue the other resident for civil assault and battery. Moreover, it can also be appropriate to hold a nursing home accountable for its negligence in developing an inappropriate plan for a resident. Generally, you will need to show that the nursing home owed a duty to protect the victimized resident, failed to abide by this duty, and thereby caused the resident serious injuries. If there are specific violations of Tennessee or federal laws that led to the peer on peer abuse, it may be possible to pursue relief under a negligence per se cause of action.

There may also be a breach of contract cause of action, depending on the specific nursing home contract that was signed when the resident came to live at the nursing home. Sometimes nursing home contracts include provisions about providing supervision, and a failure to minimize the risk of peer on peer abuse when it is known that a particular resident has violent tendencies could violate a contractual clause.

Get Assistance from an Experienced Knoxville Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to peer on peer abuse in a Tennessee nursing home, you should consult an injury lawyer. You may be able to hold the nursing home accountable. Mark Hartsoe can advise you on whether it is appropriate to bring a nursing home negligence lawsuit, and he can represent you in your effort to obtain monetary relief. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at 865-804-1011 or contact us through our online form. We also represent victims 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 areas of Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, McMinn, and Bradley Counties.

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