Nursing homes across the South often face the problem of understaffing. When there are not enough staff members at a facility to provide appropriate attention to each patient, the staff members who are there may be stressed and distracted. Inadequate staffing results in a greater likelihood of bedsores, infections, dehydration, and malnutrition, as well as the possibility of abuse arising out of frustration. If you or a loved one suffers neglect or abuse as a result of inadequate staffing in a nursing home in Tennessee or the neighboring states, you should consult an experienced Memphis nursing home negligence attorney at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. Our firm is the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee.Inadequate Staffing May Cause Serious Harm
Nursing homes are understaffed for many reasons, including costs. Some nursing homes cannot afford to hire numerous around-the-clock registered nurses. Moreover, since nursing home facilities involve high stress, it may be hard to find health care professionals who are both qualified and willing to work in that environment, when there are less stressful and better paying jobs available. When nursing homes are inadequately staffed, the staff members who are there may need to work long hours and end up doing more work than they should be doing.
As a result of this understaffing, a staff member may forget to turn an immobile resident as frequently as they should, for example. This may cause bedsores. A staff member dealing with a hostile resident, or someone who has dementia, may be tempted to use chemical restraints to get the resident under control or make them more compliant. A nurse who feels overworked and exhausted may miss some detail of the medical care regimen for a particular resident, which may result in serious harm or even the death of the resident which could have been avoided.
Inadequate staffing may be considered a breach of a nursing home's obligation to use reasonable care. In Tennessee, for example, nursing homes have been found to be negligent for failing to staff their environments with adequate personnel to meet the needs of patients. The Tennessee Supreme Court has found that a jury could reasonably find that a policy of chronic understaffing stopped individual staff members from doing their tasks properly and that management knew or should have known that the natural consequences of failing to properly staff a facility would involve injuries to residents.
In Tennessee, most nursing home negligence lawsuits are now considered to be healthcare liability actions. A plaintiff may need to retain an expert to file an affidavit with the complaint and in some situations may need to show that a nursing home defendant acted negligently as a health care professional, even if the nursing home is run by businesspeople rather than doctors. In other states, a plaintiff may file a nursing home negligence claim as an ordinary negligence lawsuit.
The damages that you may be able to recover as a result of inadequate nursing home staffing include economic or noneconomic losses that flowed from the lack of staff members. These may cover medical costs, therapy bills, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. In the context of a wrongful death action, certain family members may be able to recover damages for their loss of love and society of the deceased, as well as other losses, depending on state law.Discuss Your Nursing Home Negligence Case with a Memphis Attorney
Inadequate staffing in nursing homes in Tennessee and other states may result in devastating injuries or death to residents. A resident who suffers an injury or a family member who suffers the loss of a loved one due to negligent staffing practices at a nursing home may be able to bring a lawsuit for damages. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we employ over 30 attorneys and 100 staff members to serve people throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, including in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to schedule a free appointment with an injury attorney. NST is the way to go.