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What legal defenses are used against nursing home neglect claims?

When loved ones decide to use a nursing home or assisted care facilities to help care for themselves and their everyday needs, it can be a godsend. There are many nursing homes that offer top-notch medical care and personal attention for older patients who may not be able to live independently anymore. However, sometimes Bridgeport nursing home residents become the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse. When putting together a claim, it may be beneficial to understand some common legal defenses that may be used against you and your loved one.

Those who have suffered from nursing home neglect will likely bring a civil suit alleging negligence against the nursing home, its staff or a third party directly involved in the situation. In response to this negligence claim, nursing homes will often defend themselves on the basis of contributory negligence of the injured party.

Contributory negligence means that the patient contributed to the alleged abuse due to their pre-existing medical condition. Essentially, the nursing home is trying to prove that the defendants are not 100 percent or entirely at fault.

Contributory negligence isn't always an available defense for nursing homes. Oftentimes, a person has placed him or herself into a nursing home specifically because he or she needed to be protected from the effects of certain medical conditions. When alleging negligence, it is good for families to know what they are up against. Even if a defense strategy is not solid, an assisted care facility may attempt to use it as a last ditch effort.

While there is no foolproof way to prevent nursing home neglect or abuse, there is a way to make it right in the eyes of the law. Not only that, but the injured person can collect for any harm that has come to them due to the neglect or abuse. Medical expenses and loss of quality of life are real possibilities after an incident with a nursing home. In these matters, it is important to take steps to protect yourself or a loved one by proving negligence.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Nursing home abuse claims," Accessed Dec. 21, 2015

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