The professionals who provide care at the nursing home where your loved one lives have control over not just their health and safety, but also their quality of life. Your loved one may need help with everything from grooming and dressing themselves to eating and using the bathroom.
When those staff members fail to take adequate care of your loved one, injuries or even death could be the result of their negligence. As a family member who has witnessed neglect or its impact on a loved one, you may have no choice but to step in and advocate on behalf of the patient.
Connecticut has a Good Samaritan Law that, theoretically, protects nursing home employees from unfair allegations of neglect as they perform their job duties. Does the Good Samaritan Law here in Connecticut prevent families from bringing negligence or malpractice claims against nursing home facilities that fail to provide adequate care to their residents?
The law in Connecticut requires significant neglect to bring a claim
The Good Samaritan Law does not extend total protection and immunity to nursing home workers. It just raises the standard of neglect that can result in a civil claim. While common negligence may be grounds for a lawsuit in many states, in Connecticut, you will need to show gross negligence on behalf of nursing home staff.
Standard or ordinary negligence involves the failure to do what a reasonable person would do in the same situation. Gross negligence, the standard nursing home staff behavior must meet for a claim in Connecticut, involves behavior that goes beyond simple inattention. However, it does not have to be as severe as intentional indifference or neglect.
Documenting your concerns so that you have proof
You have many tools at your disposal that will make it easier for you to prove the neglect your loved one has suffered. Your mobile phone gives you an opportunity to make audio and video recordings, as well as to take pictures. You can also create written (or electronic) notes about individual, minor issues that add up to show a pattern of gross negligence over time.
Discussing the issues that you believe constitute negligence with an attorney familiar with these kinds of cases can help you determine whether or not you have grounds to take action.