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How Does Liability Differ Between a Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility?

Published on Jun 18, 2020 at 12:10 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Older woman using laptop

Choosing which type of facility to entrust with the caring of your loved one can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to do your research and understand the benefits of each different kind of facility. When it comes to liability, there are some key differences between a nursing home and an assisted living facility. In order to understand the differences in liability between the two, we will have to look into what services are expected of a nursing home compared to an assisted living facility.

When those facilities don’t meet the proper standards of care for your loved one, they should be held accountable for their shortcomings. Depending on what the facility is liable for, you could have a nursing home abuse claim against your loved one’s care facility or caregivers. A nursing home abuse lawyer from Thomas Law Offices in Chicago can guide you through the legal process and answer any questions you have about your potential claim.

The Difference in Services of a Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility

Although it may seem like every facility for older Americans cares for them in the same way, there is a difference between what services they provide. Of course, both provide the attention that your loved one needs, but that’s where the difference lies. Which one you choose depends on how much attention your loved one requires in their day-to-day life.

When your loved one is a resident in a nursing home, it’s because they require constant care in order to fulfill their daily needs. The nursing home staff helps your loved one as much as they can and monitor them around the clock so to ensure they are safe and taken care of. The staff is there to help your loved one do even the smallest of tasks, like helping them get dressed or brushing their teeth.

When your loved one is in an assisted living facility, they still get specialized care, but it is not constant—it’s only when they need it. If your loved one is mostly safe living alone but could use help with a few things like medication management or walking to the bathroom, then they could benefit from the more independent atmosphere of an assisted living facility.

How Their Services Affect Liability  

Older Americans are more susceptible to injuries caused by falls. One in four older people fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One in five of those falls results in serious injury, like a broken hip or a head injury. When these falls, or other instances resulting in injury, are not properly tended to by the staff of a nursing home or assisted care facility, that’s when the liability of those facilities comes into play. What they are liable for directly correlates to the different services they provide.

In a nursing home, the staff is more likely to be liable for an injury because the resident is there for constant care. If the resident is injured, there is a small chance that it was from an accident, however, it is a very real possibility that the injury was a result of abuse or neglect.

In an assisted care facility, they might not be liable for a fall that happens in a resident’s apartment. If they ignore a distress call from a resident, don’t check in when they’re supposed to, improperly administer medication, or allow hazards to stay in public spaces of the facility, then the assisted care facility could be held liable for the injury of a resident.

More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic brings liability into play as well. Even though long-term care facilities had problems managing the spread of diseases before the novel coronavirus, the recent pandemic has shone a new light on those problems. Since some nursing homes and other facilities failed to properly isolate staff or residents who were infected, they could be liable for infections and deaths of people at their facility because they failed to take the proper precautions.

Contact Thomas Law Offices in Chicago

If your loved one has been injured or infected due to negligence in their long-term care facility, you could use the help of a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer from Thomas Law Offices. We will fully investigate your loved one’s injury or illness to conclude whether or not their facility is liable.

We know how hard it can be to trust other people with the care of your loved one, and how it feels when the facility you trusted did not meet the standards of care. That’s why we will stand by you and ensure that your loved one gets the justice they deserve. Contact us today so that we can discuss your potential case and decide how to move forward.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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