While the term “nursing home abuse” is widely used, these types of actions generally fall under one of two types of actions – nursing home negligence or nursing home medical malpractice. Understanding which type of action your injury falls under is imperative in not only how to proceed with your claim, but the time limitations in which you are able to. We encourage you to read on about these two important types of claims in order to best protect your or your loved one’s rights.
The Basics of Nursing Home Abuse Claims
All injuries to a patient in a nursing home not caused by either a state-licensed medical care provider or the provision of medical care to the patient are classified as nursing home negligence claims. In other words, if you or a loved one were injured by someone who does not have a state license to practice a health profession (such as an orderly or a nurse’s aide) your claim may be one for general negligence. If you sustained injuries as a result of medical treatment or the actions of a state-licensed medical provider, your claim likely falls under medical malpractice.
Because Michigan law provides for two very distinct causes of action, which require an injured Plaintiff to prove different elements of a claim, it is important to determine which cause of action is appropriate in any particular case.
In this regard, Michigan case law indicates that the appropriate focus is whether the cause of action arose out of a professional relationship with a medical care provider and relied on that care provider’s professional medical skill or judgment. The Court provides a two-pronged test for determining whether the cause of action arises in medical malpractice or general negligence:
- Does the claim pertain to an action that occurred within the course of a professional relationship?
- Does the claim raise questions of medical judgment beyond the realm of common knowledge and experience?
If both questions are answered in the affirmative, then the cause of action is likely nursing home medical malpractice. If one or both questions are answered with a “no,” the action is likely a nursing home negligence claim.
Because many of the goings-on in nursing homes relate closely to a person’s medical care, it can often be difficult to distinguish whether or not an injury stemmed from that care. This is why it’s absolutely imperative to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer when pursuing these types of claims.
When a person is injured in a nursing home setting and it isn’t the result of medical treatment or care rendered by a state-licensed medical professional, the claim typically falls under one of general negligence.
While similar to nursing home negligence claims, injuries resulting from medical treatment or caused by a state-licensed medical professional typically fall under malpractice.