Negligent Hiring in Nursing Homes – What It Is and Why It Matters

Posted by PKSD New Mexico Law Firm on May 7, 2024 in Nursing Home Neglect

image of a woman interviewing with a potential candidateNursing homes have a responsibility to protect residents and provide quality care. However, many facilities and facility owners place profit over care by cutting corners. Negligent hiring is one way nursing homes could put residents in serious jeopardy. Failing to properly vet potential employees increases the risk of hiring someone who is unqualified or who has a prior history of abuse.

Below, we explain more about negligent hiring at nursing homes, including how it can put your loved one at risk.

At PKSD New Mexico, we work hard to fight for residents who have been harmed by acts of nursing home negligence or abuse, and we have a history of proven results. If your loved one has been injured in his or her nursing home, contact our law offices to discuss your situation. We can determine whether you may be able to recover compensation for your loved one’s injuries and other losses. We are here to help you.

Request a FREE case review today. Call: 505-677-7777

What Is Negligent Hiring?

Negligent hiring occurs when a company fails to properly check a potential employee’s background before offering them the job. Things a nursing home should be checking for or investigating when hiring someone to work at a nursing home should include:

  • Education and/or training certifications and professional licenses
  • Work history, including references from prior employers
  • Verification of nursing or other degrees needed to do the job
  • Medical exams and mandatory drug testing
  • Checking abuse registries for a history of violence at other jobs
  • Conducting criminal background checks

Say, for example, that a nursing home is negligent in their hiring practices and employs a nurse or other worker. If that worker harms a resident, such as by physically abusing them, then both the facility and the abusive worker may be liable for any resulting damages.

How Does Negligent Hiring Risk the Safety of Residents?

Negligent hiring in nursing homes can lead to serious consequences, especially given the already frail condition of many residents, such as:

  • Hiring staff with a history of abuse or violence: If a nursing home hires an individual with a known history of abusive or violent behavior, there may be a higher risk of residents being harmed.
  • Lack of education, training or qualifications: This means employing a caregiver who lacks the necessary certifications or training to provide proper care to elderly residents. This could result in injuries because of things like medication errors or not knowing the right steps to take if a resident falls and hits his or her head.
  • Failing to verify references: Hiring staff without checking applicant references could reveal previous misconduct or incompetence in similar care settings.
  • Not checking for past criminal activities: Employing someone who has a criminal history relevant to the job, like theft or fraud, could endanger residents and their property.
  • Neglecting to perform drug tests: Hiring an individual without conducting drug tests as substance abuse could impair their ability to provide safe and effective care.

In each of these examples, the nursing home has failed to perform due diligence during the hiring process. As a result, the physical, emotional and financial well-being of residents are at risk. This lack of thorough vetting can lead to negligence claims if it results in injuring a resident and causes damages.

What Types of Injuries or Damages May Result From Negligent Hiring?

Nursing homes that fail to conduct proper background checks during the hiring process could seriously endanger residents. Families entrust the health and welfare of their loved ones to a variety of staff, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists and nurse aides. If these employees are not properly vetted, lack qualifications, or have histories of abusive behavior, the consequences can be severe. In some cases, the resulting injuries can be fatal. For example, if a resident suffers a fall and the caregiver fails to take appropriate action because he or she is not properly trained.

Residents could be exposed to various risks from negligent hiring, including:

  • Neglect: Lack of proper care may lead to worsening health conditions.
  • Medication errors: Administering incorrect dosages or medications could cause serious or fatal harm.
  • Physical abuse: Residents are at risk of getting hit, kicked, slapped or suffering other physical abuse by staff.
  • Emotional abuse: This refers to verbal harassment or psychological mistreatment.
  • Sexual abuse: This is any type of non-consensual sexual act forced upon a resident.

Negligent hiring can result in significant liabilities for a nursing home, if residents suffer injuries caused by unfit or dangerous staff members. This is why thorough background checks are crucial in the hiring process.

What Kinds of Injuries May Result From Negligent Hiring?

Many kinds of injuries may result from negligent hiring, including:

  • Physical injuries: This could include things like bedsores, fractures, scratches, severe bruising, lacerations and more.
  • Neurological damage: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are just some of the types of neurological damage that could occur.
  • Emotional distress: Instances of public humiliation or intentional isolation from other residents could cause significant emotional distress.
  • Financial loss: Financial loss could occur through intimidation, theft or financial fraud.
  • Health complications: Neglectful care could result in various health complications, like dehydration or malnutrition.

Negligent hiring not only compromises the safety of nursing home residents but also the integrity and reputation of the facility itself.

Was Your Loved One Injured Due to Nursing Home Negligent Hiring?

If your loved one suffered harm in a nursing home due to negligent hiring, we strongly recommend taking immediate action. If your loved one was physically abused by a caregiver at the facility, you should immediately report the incident to the proper authorities.

Your next step should be to seek legal help. We encourage you to reach out to our law firm for a free initial consultation> Our knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorneys in Santa Fe are prepared to help you.

At PKSD, we are deeply committed to helping you secure justice and fair compensation for the pain and suffering your family member has endured. Our consultations are free, confidential and carry no obligation to pursue a claim. Since our firm operates on a contingency basis, there are also no upfront costs or fees to pay. We only get paid if you do.

Call: 505-677-7777 today to learn more. PKSD gets results for you.

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