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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Five Kinds of Nursing Home Negligence

Five Kinds of Nursing Home Negligence


Understaffing, a problem that affects over 90 percent of the nursing homes and long term care facilities in South Carolina, usually causes unintentional injuries in these facilities. Understaffed facilities are, well, understaffed. For example, no one is on watch duty in common areas. Furthermore, the remaining employees are stressed. Most of us know what it’s like to do the jobs of two or three people.

Negligent injuries aren’t malicious, but they are intentional. Furthermore, nursing home residents are physically and/or mentally vulnerable. That’s why they’re in a  nursing home in the first place. Therefore, a Columbia personal injury attorney can often obtain substantial compensation for these victims. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.


Slip and fall injuries often put people in nursing homes. They usually extend their stays as well. Most nursing home residents fall at least once.

Well-staffed facilities partner workers with residents, so a resident can more easily walk down the hall, get up from a seated position, and sit down. At understaffed facilities, residents are largely on their own.

Staffing levels don’t affect the duty of care. Nursing home owners still have a duty of care to ensure that residents are reasonably safe. This duty includes immediately addressing, and removing, fall injury hazards.


Residents often develop serious pressure ulcers in understaffed facilities. Especially during low census periods, employees don’t make rounds and turn residents over in bed at least once every two hours, as is the standard of care in these cases.

On a related note, many understaffed facilities assign less-qualified professionals, like patient care technicians, to these tasks. Particularly in the dark, these workers often don’t spot early stage bedsores and intervene promptly.

If one resident developed a bedsore, the owner is on notice of the problem. As outlined above, the owner must immediately address the problem, usually by assigning additional staff.

Resident-on-Resident Assaults

Most long-term care facility residents have child-like minds as well as child-like bodies. Petty disagreements quickly become violent. Additionally, there’s always at least one bully in any group setting.

Well-staffed facilities station workers in common areas to proactively break up these arguments. Understaffed facilities send workers to clean up once the damage is done. Most residents are so frail that a small amount of physical force causes a serious injury.


Most nursing home residents have plenty of food on their plates. But our senses degrade as we age. Since residents don’t feel hungry, they don’t eat. Malnutrition could be a standalone injury or it could contribute to one of the aforementioned injuries, such as falls or bedsores.

Industry standards clearly establish resident-staff ratios, especially in dining areas. If the facility fell below that level, a Columbia personal injury attorney can establish negligence, which is basically a lack of care.

Medication Errors

Understaffed facilities often thrust less-qualified professionals into positions they aren’t qualified to hold. We mentioned one instance above. At other facilities, nurses or even LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) don’t distribute medication. Instead, a patient care tech assumes this responsibility.

When workers are negligent during the course and scope of their employment, their employers are financially responsible for damages. The respondeat superior rule adds another layer to a nursing home negligence claim. Usually, an out-of-state holding company legally owns the negligent nursing home.

Work With a Diligent Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.


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Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

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As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

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Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

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