Nursing home abuse cases are very difficult to handle from an emotional standpoint because they most often involve a loved one being neglected, mistreated, or malnourished. Making them even more difficult is the fact that it’s your word against that of a big business or organization.
In order to receive compensation for a nursing home abuse case, you need to prove 1) that the nursing home facility, its administrators, and/or staff did not provide your loved one with proper care and 2) that this failure caused your loved one to be injured.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse does not necessarily mean that someone one was physically abusing a nursing home resident or intentionally doing anything to harm them. Nursing home abuse is essentially any form of negligence or carelessness exhibited by the facility’s administration or staff.
Nursing home abuse cases often result from one or more of the following:
- Improper use of restraints
- Medication errors
- Negligent medical treatment
- Failure to monitor residents
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Bed pressure sores
- Injuries from falls
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
The problem with nursing home abuse is that often, the patient or resident can’t personally tell you that he or she is being neglected or abused. Sometimes this is because they are unable to speak due to their physical or mental condition. And at other times, because they are afraid to speak up about what they are experiencing for fear of negative repercussions.
Because of this, it is important that you look out for signs that your loved one is being abused or neglected. Here are a few common things to look for:
- Bruises or bleeding
- Unexplained cuts and scrapes
- Torn clothing
- Excessive weight loss
- Being unresponsive or withdrawn
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should investigate further and consult with an attorney immediately.
Proving Nursing Home Abuse
Not all injuries that occur in nursing homes are the result of neglect or abuse. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will be honest with you and let you know if you have a case. But it is always worthwhile to investigate any case of suspected abuse.
One of the first things that your attorney will do when investigating a potential case of nursing home abuse is to look at the federal laws applicable to the case.
The federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 sets forth standards and guidelines that nursing homes have to follow in order to receive funding from Medicare. If the nursing home fails to follow these regulations, that shows that quality care is not being provided in the nursing home.
The second thing your attorney will do is look at the state regulations regarding the specific kind of care in question. Likewise, a nursing home failing to follow your state’s regulations is evidence that quality care is not being provided.
The third thing your lawyer will do is have a physician or nurse review your loved one’s chart to determine what kind of care should or should not have been provided in terms of the following criteria:
- What is prescribed by state and federal law;
- What is custom and practice in the nursing care industry; as well as
- What makes good common sense.
Between these three things, your attorney should be able to assemble a case that not only shows that the facility was negligent, but that their negligence caused your loved one’s injuries.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Although nursing home abuse cases can be difficult to handle, they are important to pursue. When we don’t pursue claims for nursing home abuse, we put others at risk of experiencing the same type of neglect or abuse.
Working with a nursing home abuse lawyer can make a big difference in your case. Working with an experienced lawyer you will help you strengthen your case and better understand the damages you may be entitled to receive.
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of abuse in a nursing home facility, call us at 1-800-603-6833, or contact us here to locate an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to assist you with your case.