California Nursing Home Abuse Cases: How They Differs From Personal Injury & Med Mal
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
California Nursing home abuse cases concerning the elderly and those who are dependent upon others, differs from typical California personal injury or medical malpractice cases. Nursing home abuse cases involve injured victims (seniors or dependents) who are under the care and custody of another person in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or through home health care. Our legal expert says that licensing and relationships are generally the main distinctions between these cases.
Personal injury distinctions
J. Niley Dorit, a California nursing home lawyer whose practice consists of elder and dependent neglect, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice and general personal injury cases, explained some of the distinctions between personal injury cases and those involving elder and dependent abuse, “Personal injury cases generally involve strangers. Examples would be automobile accidents or situations where somebody has created a dangerous property condition. These are injuries that are usually caused by strangers who have been negligent in their conduct.”
Medical malpractice distinctions
Attorney Dorit provided the following information on medical malpractice distinctions. “[Nursing home abuse] is distinct from medical malpractice because medical malpractice cases involve claims of negligence against a licensed health care professional. In many elder or dependent care cases, the negligence involves somebody who is not a licensed health care professional. So, these would not generally be considered medical malpractice cases.”
There is a crossover category involving skilled nursing home facilities where you have a licensed health care professional, such as a nurse or a licensed hospital employee. Dorit explained, “When there is a pattern of neglect relating to the custodial aspects of the care, that would be considered nursing home abuse in California. However, if there is no pattern of neglect or if the injury doesn’t arise from custodial duties, it would most likely be considered a medical malpractice case – which is much more limited than an elder abuse case.”