Scales of Justice and Wooden Gavel


Paul Benson June 30, 2020

Safe staffing ratios in nursing homes are essential. Having lower staffing levels can compromise care quality and cause nursing home accidents. If you are concerned about negligence due to low staffing levels and your loved one’s safety, it is crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable Wisconsin personal injury attorney. I can provide answers to your questions about staffing levels for nursing homes and how to pursue compensation for personal injuries.

The Paul Benson Law Firm proudly serves clients in Janesville, Beloit, and Rock County, Wisconsin.

Federal and State Requirements for Nursing Home Staffing

In Wisconsin, state statutes and regulations require nursing homes and care facilities to have sufficient nursing staff to meet the specific needs of each resident. According to the statute, there shall be adequate nursing service personnel assigned to care for the specific needs of each resident on each tour of duty. The staffing requirement is as follows:

  • Each nursing home shall employ a charge nurse, who may either be a professional nurse or a licensed practical nurse acting under the supervision of a professional nurse or a physician.

  • Licensed staff shall include the Director of Nursing (DON), Registered Nurse (RN), and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

  • Each personnel shall be briefed on the condition and appropriate care of each resident.

  • For each resident in need of intensive skilled nursing care, 3.25 hours per day, with a minimum of 0.65 hours provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

  • For each resident in need of skilled nursing care, 2.5 hours per day, with a minimum of 0.5 hours provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

  • For each resident in need of intermediate or limited nursing care, 2.0 hours per day, with a minimum of 0.4 hours provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Consequences of Low Staffing

Low staffing is one of the principal causes of neglect and elder abuse in nursing homes. Understaffed nursing homes are unable to provide adequate attention and care to each resident and overworked and stressed staff increases the risk of committing mistakes, neglect, and elder abuse. Some consequences of low staffing include:

  • Inadequate supervision (leading to falls)

  • Medication negligence 

  • Failing to provide medical assistance

  • Failure to keep the residence safe (free of hazards)

Also, studies have shown that seniors who live in understaffed nursing homes are at a higher risk of malnutrition, slips and falls, weight loss, infections, and bedsores.

Who is Liable for a Nursing Home Accident?

Care facilities owe a stringent “duty of care” to their residents. The nursing home may be held responsible for incidents of abuse or injury if it occurred due to:

  • Negligent training of staff or failure to provide adequate training to nursing staff

  • Deliberate abuse of residents by staff members

  • Negligent hiring of staff, such as a failure to carry out a thorough background checks

  • Failure to provide adequate security

  • Failure to properly monitor staff

  • Failure to provide for the daily necessities of living, such as food, water, and medications

  • Medical neglect, such as not addressing the medical needs of the resident

  • Failure to protect residents from health and safety hazards

Proving negligence in a case involving nursing home accidents can be very complicated. Hiring an experienced attorney is crucial to protect your rights and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

Nursing homes and care facilities experience a disturbing rate of injuries and abuse among its residents. In 2007, the Administration on Aging (AOA) received about 257,872 complaints regarding resident rights, insufficient staffing, quality of life, quality of care, and condition of care facilities. If you are concerned about a nursing home resident, you need to speak with an attorney immediately.

I have dedicated my career to representing clients in matters of personal injuries, abuse, and neglect in care facilities. I will review your case, carry out a thorough investigation, and provide you with a strong representation in your personal injury lawsuit. I will fight zealously to protect the rights of your vulnerable loved ones and help pursue fair compensation for their injuries.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Janesville, Wisconsin

If your loved one was injured in a nursing home, you may have claims against the care facility. Contact The Paul Benson Law Firm today for help with your personal injury lawsuit. Together we will pursue fair financial compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries. I proudly represent personal injury victims in Janesville, Beloit, and Rock County, Wisconsin. Call my law firm to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney.