Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence During COVID-19
Nursing home residents often have a greater risk of suffering harm due to illnesses or injuries. Therefore, nursing homes must take special care to protect the health of their residents and to ensure that they have a safe living environment. Sadly, however, many nursing homes are ill-equipped to provide competent care under normal circumstances, and their failures became increasingly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in widespread resident harm. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness due to nursing home abuse or negligence during COVID-19, you should consult an attorney to determine which claims you may be able to set forth in a lawsuit. At the Branch Law Firm, our New Mexico nursing home abuse lawyers take pride in helping people pursue justice after they were harmed by a nursing home’s failures, and we can zealously advocate on your behalf.Laws Imposed on New Mexico Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are regulated by both state and federal laws to help protect nursing home residents from neglect or cruel treatment. Specifically, nursing homes in New Mexico are required to provide each resident with an individualized plan of care that was developed to maintain or improve the resident’s physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. Residents must be properly groomed and must remain clean and comfortable. Additionally, residents must be provided with adequate nutrition and fluids, and the status of their mental and physical health, and sometimes their food and liquid intake, should be documented by a nurse daily. The law also protects residents from mental and physical abuse and only allows for the use of restraints under written authorization from a physician. Finally, the law sets forth staffing requirements to ensure that nursing homes have an adequate number of properly trained staff members to meet resident needs.Seeking Damages for Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence During COVID-19
Although New Mexico law requires nursing homes to meet minimum staffing and care requirements, not all nursing homes comply with the law, and many nursing homes lack an appropriate number of staff members or are staffed by people who lack adequate training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, insufficient staffing led to an increase in the harm caused by nursing home negligence and abuse. Many nursing home residents contracted COVID-19 due to nursing homes’ failures to take proper precautions, such as maintaining proper standards for cleanliness, quarantining sick patients, and preventing sick people from entering the nursing home.
Nursing home residents who did not contract COVID-19 may have suffered harm in other ways. For example, in many nursing homes overwhelmed by the task of caring for sick residents, residents who were not suffering from COVID-19 were neglected, causing a decline in their health. Additionally, in some instances, staff members unable to cope with the stress of the pandemic directly harmed residents.
People injured by nursing home abuse or negligence during COVID-19 have a right to seek damages via a civil lawsuit. Generally, a plaintiff seeking compensation for nursing home neglect or misconduct will allege that the nursing home was negligent, which requires the plaintiff to show that the nursing home owed the plaintiff a duty to act with reasonable care, or in compliance with a duty imposed by the law, but the nursing home breached the duty, and the breach caused the plaintiff’s harm.Discuss Your Case with a Capable New Mexico Attorney
Nursing home residents have suffered great harm during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part due to neglect by the nursing homes entrusted with their care. If you or someone you love suffered harm because of nursing home abuse or negligence during COVID-19, you can contact the nursing home neglect lawyers at the Branch Law Firm. We have offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and we represent people in lawsuits against nursing homes throughout New Mexico, including in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, Clovis, Hobbs, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Alamogordo, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Taos, Farmington, and Los Lunas. You can reach us via our online form or at 800-828-4529 to set up a confidential and free meeting.