Lawsuits in Residential Assisted Living

Will I ever be sued? 

In Residential Assisted Living you’re going to get sued, and let me explain why it’s no big deal. The reality is we understand what the liabilities and the risks are. We have insurance to protect ourselves from it. But when people move into our homes, they’re being taken care of, they are being loved on. We want them to live forever, but on occasion they do pass away. People do die and it’s a matter of when, not if. The question becomes, was there some negligence or problem along the way, and if there was and you’re doing a bad job, well then maybe you deserve to get sued. But if you did everything right, and doing a great job and somebody falls, breaks a bone, goes into the hospital, and two months later they pass away. Well, that’s not tragic. It is sad. Now again, I want you to get very real. Let’s say that person living in the senior care residential assisted living home has five kids. Those five kids are 50, 60 years old. Those are the kids because mom or dad is 80 or 90 years. They’ve come to visit mom or dad everyday or every week. They see the caregivers. They know them by name. They’ve eaten the food in the dining room with mom or dad. They know the manager, and they love the experience. Now they’ve been there for three years. They fall, they break their hip, they go to the hospital and two months later, they pass away. That is sad, but it’s not unexpected. 

Will the family be upset with me if their mom or dad dies? 

Now, let’s think about the family. If they know who you are, if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do and doing it right, certainly they could be upset. But some of them may be happy that mom is in a better place. But even if somebody is unhappy, if they were to go to an attorney, the attorney’s going to call, they’re gonna look at the home, they’re going to see the records, they’re going to see we did everything we’re supposed to do. We’re licensed. Everything is there and they’re going to realize there is no case. 

Isn’t insurance too expensive? 

Even if they do sue, you should have insurance. The insurance is a million dollars per incident, $3,000,000 for the policy. Now that’s the insurance that is here. Professional liability insurance for residential assisted living. It’s less than a dollar a day per resident. So 10 residents, 30 days, $300 a month. That means you’re passing on that expense, that $30 per resident to them, inside whatever it is you charge in your $6,000 a month, I’m sure there’s at least $30 available. The reality is it’s an expense. It’s a cost of doing business. 

Do everything right! 

So avoid those potential problems. Have the proper insurance, and do a good job. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s. But rest assured, if you do this right, that liability is truly a non issue. Those who are running around without the proper insurance are taking risks they shouldn’t take. 

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