What happens when a nursing home resident complains of neglect or abuse?
When a nursing home resident complains of abuse, the first step is to help them seek medical attention. This is especially important if they have been injured or fallen sick due to the abuse. For example, if they have been physically assaulted, you will need to call 911. In addition, you can request an ambulance if they have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Next, you will need to document the incident and notify relevant authorities. Each state has an agency that handles cases of nursing home abuse or neglect. Whether you are a member of staff or a direct relative of the resident, it is important to report the incident to the relevant authorities.
In fact, nursing home staff are regarded as mandatory reporters. Therefore, failure to report abuse or neglect at a nursing home comes with serious consequences for the mandatory reporter. After filing a complaint with the relevant government agency, the next step is to consult a nursing abuse or neglect lawyer.
Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Abuse or Neglect?
Yes, you can sue a nursing home for abusing and neglecting your loved one. However, it is advisable to consult an experienced attorney before proceeding with such a lawsuit. An experienced attorney will review the nature of your case and determine the best way to proceed. While filing a lawsuit is an option, there are times when it may be more reasonable to pursue other alternatives, such as an out-of-court settlement.
A competent attorney can also help identify the parties responsible for the abuse and neglect and possibly take legal action against them. For example, if a resident abused your loved one, it may not make so much sense to file a lawsuit against them. This is because the resident might be unable to compensate your loved one.
On the other hand, just because the nursing home owner did not actively participate in the abuse does not mean they are not legally responsible. For example, if your loved one was abused because the nursing home was understaffed, the nursing home's owner might be held responsible.
This is because it is their job to ensure that the nursing home has enough staff. The same applies if your loved one was neglected due to understaffing, leading to slips and falls, bed sores, and other injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit?
Like many other personal injury lawsuits, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are designed to compensate you for the money you lost due to the incident. Examples include medical expenses, transportation to and from medical appointments, ambulance costs, and the cost of medical equipment, among others.
On the other hand, non-economic damages include the nonfinancial losses the resident suffered. Examples include pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and so on.
If you file a lawsuit and the judge or jury determines that the defendant was grossly negligent, they might be required to pay punitive damages. These are damages awarded to the plaintiff as compensation for the defendant's negligent actions and also to serve as a warning to other parties.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?
The kind of evidence you will need will depend on the specifics of your case. Generally, you may need photos, videos, or recorded statements to prove the abuse. In addition, it would be helpful to have witnesses testify. The witnesses, in this case, could be anyone who saw the incident, including but not limited to members of staff, delivery men, healthcare providers, family members, etc.
What Should I Look for in a Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Attorney?
Nursing homes make a lot of money from their businesses. For this reason, it is advisable to work with an attorney with powerful legal resources to fight for you or your loved one. Secondly, you need an attorney with a solid history of winning. Lastly, the attorney should have a great reputation for fighting for their client's rights.
While there are many other factors that you may need to consider, these three are the most important resources, reputation, and results.
For example, at Morgan and Morgan, we are the largest personal injury law firm in the United States with access to powerful legal resources. In addition, we have been serving clients all over the country for over three decades, having secured more than $13 billion as compensation for various injuries so far. Lastly, our law firm does not need any introduction to the world of personal injury litigation—we are known by defendants, plaintiffs, insurance companies, and attorneys from coast to coast.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Morgan and Morgan Nursing Home Neglect Attorney?
At Morgan and Morgan, we will fight for you without any upfront payment. Instead, we charge our clients on a contingency basis. This means that you will only pay us if we win. If we do not win, you do not owe us anything. The contingency system allows us to fight for our client's rights without stressing them about legal fees they may not be able to afford at that moment.
Now that you know what to do if you or your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is time to have your case reviewed by experts. Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.