Who is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Iowa?

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

Who is responsible for Iowa nursing home abuse and neglect?

The nursing home and its owners are responsible for what happens to their residents under their roof. They have a federal obligation to make sure that all policies and procedures are being followed.

Sometimes when abuse or neglect occurs, they’re more interested in how much money they’re taking in rather than how they are staffing the facility, training that staff, overseeing that staff, and making sure the residents are being well taken care of at all times.

Insurance and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Often Insurance does not cover nursing home abuse – which is a direct action to hurt someone. Most nursing homes have insurance that covers them in the event of negligence, however. Negligence in a nursing home may look like:

  • Too many falls
  • Bedsores that should not have occurred
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Medication errors and thefts

In these cases of negligence, the nursing home would be held responsible. Generally speaking, in Iowa, an employer is responsible for the actions of the employee. In a nursing home, that means if a CNA or a nurse are taking care of a resident consistent with their job, the facility can be held responsible if they don’t do their job correctly.

If an aide or a nurse is directly abusing your loved one, a nursing home may try to claim that they are not responsible. The facility will say this goes beyond the scope of the employee’s job and therefore leadership cannot be held accountable.

However, often that abuse can happen because the nursing home did not:

  • Properly screen its employees before hiring them
  • Properly train its employees once they were hired
  • Properly supervise them while they were working.

Most employers will try to skirt these responsibilities and claim they can’t be held liable. That’s why you need a skilled Iowa nursing home abuse lawyer to fight back against the nursing home’s claims.

Protecting Your Loved One in an Iowa Nursing Home

If you believe your loved one is being neglected in an Iowa nursing home, there are steps you can take.

  1. Make sure your loved one is safe. Call 911 if you must. If you fear retaliation against your loved one, move them out of the facility before you make a complaint.
  2. Make a complaint with the administrator of the facility and the director of nursing. Document your complaint with details and photos if you have them. Be respectful in your complaint, but also thorough.
  3. We also recommend lodging a complaint with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. The IDIA will investigate your claims by interviewing witnesses and may fine the facility if they find your complaints valid.
  4. Contact an experienced Iowa nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. Nursing home abuse claims are complex cases and you need someone knowledgeable of nursing home law and who has handled nursing home trials.

If you need a free, no-obligation case evaluation for your Iowa nursing home abuse case, call RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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