Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Medication Errors?

Yes, you can sue a provider, such as a nursing home, for medication errors. In California, nursing homes are required to provide a certain quality of care to their residents. This includes properly administering medications. If a nursing home harms a resident through failure to provide the standard of care, it can be held liable for the damages.

Errors in administering medication take many forms, such as giving the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or administering medication at the wrong time. These errors can have serious health consequences, and in some cases, result in death.

What Constitutes Negligence in a Nursing Home?

Negligence in a nursing home is defined as a failure to exercise the care that a reasonable person would have given in similar circumstances. In the context of medication errors, negligence could involve a nurse or other staff member failing to properly administer medication, or a doctor prescribing the wrong medication or dosage.

For example, let’s say a resident is supposed to receive a certain medication twice a day, but the nursing home staff only gives it to them once a day. This could be considered negligence, as the staff failed to provide the standard of care expected of them.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect from a Nursing Home Lawsuit?

The compensation you can expect from a nursing home lawsuit depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Under normal circumstances, you could be entitled to compensatory payments for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Medical expenses usually include the cost of hospital stays, doctor visits, medication, and any necessary rehabilitation or therapy. Compensation for pain and suffering covers the emotional distress of the physical and psychological caused by the medication error.

In some cases, if the nursing home’s actions were particularly harmful, you could also be awarded punitive damages. These are meant to punish the nursing home and deter similar behavior in the future.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Lawsuits in California?

In California, the statute of limitations for lawsuits against nursing homes is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, if the injury was not discovered until later, the statute of limitations may be extended to one year from the date the injury was discovered.

This means that if you or a loved one has been harmed by nursing home staff who made a medication error, it’s important to act quickly. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you may lose your rights to seek compensation.

For instance, if your sister was given the wrong medication in her nursing home and suffered a heart attack as a result, you would generally have two years from the date of the heart attack to file a lawsuit. However, if the heart attack was not immediately linked to the medication error, you may have one year from the date the connection was discovered.

What Should I Do if I Suspect a Medication Error in a Nursing Home?

If you suspect a medication error happened in a nursing home, it’s important to take immediate action. First, ensure the safety and well-being of the resident. Seek medical attention if necessary.

Next, document everything. Write down what happened, when it happened, and any other relevant details. If possible, take pictures or videos. This evidence could be crucial in a potential lawsuit.

Finally, contact an experienced attorney. They can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.

For example, if your grandfather seems unusually lethargic and you discover he’s been given the wrong medication, you should immediately report this to the nursing home and seek medical attention for your grandfather. Note down all of the details of the incident, taking photos where possible, and contact an attorney immediately.

What are the Common Types of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes?

Medication errors in nursing homes can take many forms. Some of the most common types include:

  1. Incorrect Dosage: This occurs when a resident is given too much or too little of a medication. This can lead to serious health complications or even death.
  2. Wrong Medication: This happens when a resident is given a medication intended for another resident. This can cause adverse reactions, especially if the resident has allergies or other medical conditions.
  3. Missed Doses: If a resident’s medication is not administered at the correct times, it can lead to a decline in their health condition.
  4. Drug Interactions: If a resident is given a new medication that interacts negatively with a medication they are already taking, it can lead to serious health issues.

Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Death?

Yes, you can sue a nursing home for wrongful death if a medication error led to the death of a loved one. In California, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, or other individuals who would be entitled to the property of the deceased by intestate succession.

For instance, if your spouse was given an incorrect dosage of medication in a nursing home, leading to their untimely death, you could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. In such a case, you could seek compensation for loss of companionship, emotional distress, loss of financial support, and funeral and burial expenses.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Nursing Home Lawsuit?

An experienced lawyer can be invaluable in a nursing home lawsuit. They can help gather evidence, navigate complex legal procedures, and advocate for you in court. A lawyer can also help explain your rights and any potential compensation.

Furthermore, a lawyer can help negotiate a fair settlement with the nursing home or their insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, they can represent you in trial and argue for the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a medication error in a nursing home, call the Hejazi Law Group today at (949) 749-7402 for a case evaluation.