We seek to place our elderly loved ones in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home care, that provide proper medical attention when required. In the same respect federal and state laws have been instituted to protect the elderly from cases of elder abuse, neglect, fraud and medical malpractice in nursing homes and elderly care facilities.
Common Medical Errors in Nursing Homes and Elderly Care Facilities:
- Medication Errors – over medication and under medication improper dosage prescribed by resident medical doctors
- Delayed or missed dialysis for patients with diabetes
- Delayed diagnosis of an ailment
- Communication errors including the failure to communicate with patients physicians and nurses
- Surgical errors
- Failure to properly asses a patient
Elder Abuse Not Regarded as Medical Malpractice:There are many negligent and intentional actions of nursing home staff which may be construed as medical malpractice but in fact fall under nursing home cause of action.
- Bed sore – caused by failure to turn patients on a regular basis
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Falls from bed – slip and falls
- Unsanitary living conditions
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice LawsuitGenerally in the state of California senior citizens as well as every individual over the age of 18 has one year from the date of the medical malpractice incident to file a civil lawsuit in the court of law. Failure to file within the allotted time eliminates a victims right to seek compensation by legal means. In certain instances courts will allow for a tolling or (halting) of a statute of limitations. Examples include instances where the victim in physically or mentally incapacitated and where the injury to the victim does not learn of the act of medical error until sometime after the incident has taken place. What if the Cause of Action Is Not Medical Malpractice – General Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: The time period to file a personal injury nursing home lawsuit outside the scope of medical malpractice in the state of California is two years from the date of the incident. The same tolling rules as the ones stated above apply.
How To Pursue Legal Action on Behalf of Relative Who Has Died in a Nursing Home Due to Medical MalpracticeCalifornia common law with respect to civil (non criminal) lawsuits allows for certain relatives of the deceased to file wrongful death lawsuits in the court of law. The right to file a lawsuit for elder abuse transfers to a named personal representative following the death of the elderly individual. If there are no personal representative, the right to sue is assigned to
- First: An intestate where the interest is affected
- Second: The deceased elder’s successor in interest
- Third: A person named as an “interested person”