Get Compensation For Nursing Home Abuse
If you follow the news, you are probably somewhat aware of the nursing home abuse that goes on in our country almost every day. Even so, most people don’t realize how widespread this problem is in terms of the amount of people this impacts on a daily basis. According to NursingHomeAbuse.org, as many as five million elderly are abused every year in nursing homes. That is roughly 10 percent of the entire elderly population in our country.
What is a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
These are attorneys well-versed in elder law as well as cases involving abuse. These attorneys are here to help elderly nursing home residents that have been abused and/or their families receive the compensation they deserve for abuse suffered at the hands of staff members and/or other residents.
Because many individuals at nursing homes are unable to care for themselves, some sick individuals see them as targets rather than someone that they are there to help. Some of the most common issues nursing home abuse lawyers see from their clients are:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual molestation
- Gross neglect
- Resident-on-resident abuse
In addition to abuse cases, nursing home abuse attorneys will also handle cases of neglect. While these are a slightly different niche of law, these cases have many similarities that enable nursing home abuse lawyers to serve clients in both areas.
What Services Does a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Provide?
Once you contact an attorney specializing in nursing home abuse, he or she will set up a meeting with the victim and/or family members to discuss exactly what happened. Some of the topics of discussion will be:
- Circumstances that led to the abuse and type of abuse that occurred
- A complete history of the nursing homes the victim has lived in and care received
- Discuss both the mental and physical capabilities of the victim
Once the attorney has these details, he or she will go to work investigating the claim, then decide the best course of action to take against the facility. If everyone decides to move forward with the case, the aggrieved party is considered the plaintiff in the suit filed by the attorney.
If a suit is filed, the attorney will then have to prove:
- The legal responsibility of the facility to properly care for the victim (in most cases, contracts are signed that outline the care given and responsibilities of the facility for the individual being admitted)
- How the facility failed to meet its responsibilities as well as the resident’s needs or how the resident was harmed due to negligence or a purposeful act
- What injuries resulted from the harm inflicted by the other resident or employee of the facility or as a result of blatant neglect
This is something we have seen become a real issue during the pandemic. Depending upon which state you live in, there were requirements in place for nursing homes in the hope that those most at risk would be protected. However, in some cases, those regulations were not strict enough, resulting in more elderly dying from COVID-19.
For instance, in New York, the state issued guidelines that contradicted some aspects of the CDC guidelines for nursing home care and those guidelines were kept in place for several months. The same can be said for a variety of other states that were allowing those treated in a hospital to return to nursing homes without being segregated from the other residents even though they were still testing positive for COVID-19.
Something else that has been prevalent during the pandemic is a lack of staffing or a lack of qualified staffing working in these facilities during this crisis. This had led to impatience and frustration on the part of some staff, sometimes with it being taken out on residents. We have also seen an influx of other problems, such as malnutrition, bedsores, and even improper medications being given to residents.
What to Do if Abuse is Suspected
First and foremost, the abuse needs to be reported to the proper authorities. You can do this by calling Adult Protection Services within the state or by calling the local police. The abuse needs to be documented right away, so make sure you tell someone as soon as it happens while the details are still fresh in your mind. If abuse is something that regularly happens, try to keep a log (keep it hidden from staff) documenting what you have seen and/or experienced.
You are also going to need to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure that justice is not only handed out to the abuser but also so you receive any financial compensation that is deserved as a result of this abuse. If you would like to discuss your case with one of our skilled nursing home abuse attorneys, please call us as 855.633.0888. You are under no obligation to use our services and your initial consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to call. If you would like to learn more about our legal services, please click here.