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Could a nursing home injury be caused by medical malpractice?

Many of our readers in Mississippi have probably seen news reports that pop up from time to time detailing some sort of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. These reports, sadly, seem all too common, and in many instances the focus of the reports is on criminal action that is being taken against the responsible parties -- the individuals employed by the nursing home who actually committed the acts in question. But, could a nursing home injury be caused by medical malpractice?

As some people may know, a medical malpractice claim falls under the umbrella of an area of law known as "tort" law. The most common tort law claims that people may be familiar with are personal injury claims that result from car accidents. But medical malpractice claims are also a kind of personal injury claim, and as a result such a claim could very well be associated with a nursing home injury.

For example, say an elderly resident of a nursing home suffers an injury because of a medication error that caused the resident to suffer some type of adverse, disorienting side effect that led to a fall. Proving that medication error occurred would be, in part, a medical malpractice claim.

One of the downsides of including a medical malpractice claim in a nursing home injury case is that proving such a claim can be quite a bit more difficult than just proving negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. Medical malpractice claims often involve the use of expert witnesses, and malpractice is more than just a "mistake" or negligence committed by a nursing home staff member.

Source: FindLaw, "Nursing Home Abuse Claims," Accessed March 14, 2016

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