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Negligence in Nursing Homes

How Do I Know if I Have a Nursing Home Negligence Claim?

If you or a loved one has been injured by a nursing home, you may be able to file a negligence action against the nursing home to recover compensation for your injuries. Although there are several legal theories available to recover for injuries sustained at a nursing home, the general negligence claim is the most common.

Basics of a Nursing Home Negligence Claim

Owners, operators, and employees of a nursing home have a legal responsibility to act with certain standards of care in the operation of a nursing home. Typically, these standards are measured by what the reasonable owner or employee would do in the same or similar circumstances. The failure to comply with that standard is legal negligence.

Nursing Home NegligenceNegligence actions arise in tort and require that the Plaintiff prove the four basic elements of a negligence claim:

    1. That the Defendant owed a legal duty to the Plaintiff;
    2. That the Defendant breached that duty;
    3. That the Defendant’s breach of the legal duty was the proximate cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries; and
    4. That the Plaintiff sustained damages as a result of the Defendant’s breach.

In most cases, negligence claims against nursing homes will be filed as standard negligence claims, although in certain situations, a negligence claim alleging premises liability may also be appropriate.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations governs the time frame in which a claim must be brought. For general negligence actions in Michigan, the statute of limitations is three-years. However, this period may be extended in certain situations, such as when the Plaintiff is a minor or is suffering from mental insanity.