Nursing Home Abuse Laws In Michigan

Nursing home abuse laws in Michigan may vary from the laws applicable for such cases in other states of the United States of America. The Michigan laws have been designed in a strict way in order to prevent abuse to elderly citizens living in nursing home facilities. These people are quite vulnerable to abuse because of factors like their weakened state and their relation isolation. Depending upon the severity of the abuse, certain civil and criminal charges may be placed against the facility.

Breach Of Contract

Most nursing home facilities provide their services as part of a contract between them and the residents. Therefore, the caregiver in some cases may also be found guilty of breach of contract. The patients and their loved ones have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the nursing home facility in case they find that there has been violation of the contract and that they are not providing the kind of services as they promised. However, it is important to note that breach of contract is not a criminal offence and the lawsuits can be filed only in civil courts.

Wrongful Death

Sometimes, the abuse is so severe that it results in the victim’s death. As per the Nursing home abuse laws in Michigan, in cases of wrongful death, where a patient dies because of severe violation in prescribed treatment rules, criminal charges are placed against the caregiver. Any violation of such rules that results in the death of a patient attracts certain penalties that include up to $75,000 of monetary fine and/or five years of jail imprisonment. In many cases, the court even seizes the license and orders to close the facility.

Neglect

The abuse is considered as a misdemeanor when the nursing home staffs are guilty of criminal negligence. In these types of cases, the patients have to suffer from mental or physical harm because of inaction. The penalties for this type of crime include up to $1,000 of monetary fine with or without up to twelve months in prison.

Penalties Vary Depending Upon Whether It Is A First Degree, Second Degree, Or A Third Degree Abuse

“Vulnerable adult abuse in the first degree” is considered as the most severe type of abuse. In these types of cases, serious mental or physical harm is caused to the patients intentionally by the nursing home staff members. As per the Nursing home abuse laws in Michigan, the penalties for this type of crime include up to $15,000 as monetary fine and/or jail imprisonment for up to fifteen years. However, if the crime was not intentional and the harm caused to the victim was a result of the recklessness, it is considered as a “vulnerable adult abuse in the second degree”. The penalties for this type of abuse may include up to $5,000 of monetary fine and/or up to four years of jail imprisonment. The third degree abuse is punishable by up to $2500 of monetary fine with or without up to two years of jail imprisonment.

Overall, the Nursing home abuse laws in Michigan are very strict. The more you are informed about the laws and you legal rights, the more you can protect your loved ones who are residing in nursing homes.