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Defending against accusations of nursing home neglect

Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a very emotional time for families, and it is normal for them to be worried about their family member's care. In some cases, however, this worry can be taken too far, and a nursing home or other health care facility can quickly find itself defending against a neglect suit.

A family may file a nursing home neglect lawsuit for myriad reasons, and really, any injury, no matter the circumstances, can turn into a liability case for the care facility. According to The New York Times, approximately one-fifth of U.S. nursing homes -- around 3,000 -- are given top marks from Medicare. While this may seem low, the ratings are based on self-reported data, possibly skewing the numbers and making it seem as if fewer nursing homes are performing well.

The reputation of nursing homes as places that are understaffed and not able to provide adequate resident care persists, however. Complaints against health care facilities can run the gamut from failing to adequately investigate allegations of abuse to using broken equipment that can cause injuries. While injuries certainly can and do occur, it is not always the fault of the provider or facility.

Allegations of nursing home neglect are often featured by media outlets and can quickly turn into a public relations nightmare. Even accusations later determined to be false can cause great harm to a nursing home's reputation, making it critical that any health care facility or individual worker facing this type of suit talk with an experienced defense attorney immediately.

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