While nursing homes promise to ensure the health and well-being of our elderly loved ones, sadly instances of nursing home neglect do happen. Nursing home neglect can present itself in a number of ways, such as failing to provide:
The rights of nursing home residents are just as important as the rights of people living independently, and nursing home residents have the right to live without neglect. Working with an elder law attorney can help give you or your loved one a voice in what feels like a hopeless situation.
Nursing home neglect can be the result of negligent or intentional acts by staff and can continue on by the failure of other staff to intervene after witnessing the neglect. Some nursing home neglect happens because staff members are poorly trained or have histories of violence or abuse. Other facilities may have an inadequate number of staff members to administer proper care for all its residents.
You may wish to pursue filing a civil negligence lawsuit against the nursing home to receive compensation for your loved one’s injuries and suffering. Nursing home negligence claims involve showing the nursing home owed a duty of reasonable care, breaching that duty caused the injury, and your loved one suffered damages as a result.
Oftentimes, these claims are brought against the nursing home itself for issues like:
Sometimes, you may hold a particular staff member liable for negligent care or supervision of a nursing home resident. An elder law attorney can help you determine your strategy for filing a nursing home negligence claim.
Typically when you or a loved one moves into a nursing home facility, you sign a contract laying out the services being provided and their costs. If the nursing home fails to provide reasonable care while performing the agreed upon services, you may also have a breach of contract claim.
As awareness of nursing home negligence grows, so have the laws criminalizing mistreatment of our elderly loved ones. A number of states have laws in place to protect nursing home residents and penalize those who neglect them. Some state laws cover inappropriate or violent physical contact and may not cover neglect or threats.
This process begins by reporting the incident to law enforcement so they can conduct an investigation. The findings from the investigation may be used as evidence in the criminal case. Although it is a district attorney who will handle the prosecution against the nursing home, your elder law attorney can help you determine if criminal charges are an option you can pursue in your state.
Another option is to report the neglect to your local adult protective services agency. These agencies work with law enforcement, medical and mental health specialists, and other professionals to protect against neglect, investigate claims, and help remedy these situations. Additionally, these agencies sanction nursing home facilities found responsible for neglect and communicate these incidents with the proper professional and medical licensing organizations for sanctions and license revocation.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified nursing home neglect lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local nursing home neglect attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.