Negligent Hiring in Nursing Homes
Many companies have strict hiring practices. However, nursing homes tend to be more lenient in their hiring practices in an effort to save money. Unfortunately this often leads to negligent hiring in nursing homes.Negligent hiring has many negative consequences. Understaffing a nursing home or hiring a person who poses a risk to the facility can result in serious harm to the patients. If your loved one has been injured or killed by negligent hiring in nursing homes, you may be able to file a claim against both the nursing home and the employee.
To learn more, contact a Chicago nursing home lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 right away and schedule a free and confidential consultation. You may be eligible for compensation for your damages and losses.
What is Negligent Hiring?
Negligent hiring occurs when a nursing home or other employer hires an untrustworthy or dangerous person. Employers, especially those whose employees have a high amount of contact with others, should perform thorough background checks and urine testing on each prospective employee in order to avoid this type of situation.
Many states, including Illinois, have high numbers of employers who have been sued and held liable for the dangerous and illegal actions of their employees. Occupations including nursing home staff, real estate agents, maintenance workers, hotel and apartment personnel, and delivery people should be scrutinized carefully before any hiring.
Understaffing is also a form of negligent hiring. State and federal laws require that nursing homes in Illinois have a minimum number of employees available to care for residents at all times.
As of January 1, 2014, residents requiring skilled care must receive at least 3.8 hours of total care per day. This includes 23 minutes of registered nurse time and 57 minutes of licensed nurse time.
Negligent Hiring in Nursing Homes
According to the FBI, 92 percent of nursing home employees have at least one criminal conviction. This conviction could be anything from a traffic ticket to a homicide. Additionally, approximately 50 percent of nursing homes have at least five employees with one or more convictions.
While many employers hire people who have criminal backgrounds, this can be a concern when working with the elderly. The elderly are often naïve and vulnerable. Many are physically or mentally disabled, making them an easy target for con artists. Employees have been known to take advantage of patients, steal from them, and inflict abuse.
It’s crucial that nursing homes take their hiring seriously. Although they may want to save money by hiring an inexpensive staff or by foregoing background checks, this can become a liability issue in the event that a patient is hurt or has been stolen from by an employee.
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer is liable for any criminal negligence caused by the employee under the scope of their employment. In order to fall under this doctrine, the act must be authorized by the employer or closely related to an authorized job duty.
There is a difference between a job-related accident and an accident that occurs while on the job but unrelated to the employee’s duties. For example, an employer would be liable for an employee who abuses a patient while on the job. However, if the same employee were to go on a lunch break and assault a random person outside, the employer would not be held liable since the accident was unrelated to the employee’s job duties.
No matter how many employees a facility has, the employer is liable for any negligence that occurs on the job. If abuse were to occur in a nursing home and the employer didn’t know that the negligent employee was just released from jail, there would be a liability issue. Had the employer in this scenario performed a proper background check, this would have been known information and thus, the employer would be charged with negligent hiring.
A Chicago Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help
Nursing home employees have an important job and therefore, should be trustworthy and reliable individuals. It’s important for facilities to be prudent with whom they hire since negligent hiring can result in serious injuries or death.
If you’ve investigated the nursing home and believe negligent hiring has led to your loved one’s abuse or death, contact the facility and authorities right away. Next, you should seek legal help. Make sure to act quickly because the longer you wait, the longer the negligent hiring practices will continue.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can review your claim and help determine who is liable for your loved one’s abuse. In some cases, the employee and employer can both be deemed at fault.
Better hiring practices will result in better care for nursing home patients. With Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. on your side, we can hold the facility accountable and keep others from getting injured.
Get started on your claim by calling (312) 236-2900 today and scheduling your free case assessment.