It is possible to get justice after a case of negligence or abuse at a nursing home. The nursing homes should take responsibility for their actions if they fail to uphold high standards of care, resulting in harm or distress to a resident they are supposed to care for in their premise. Yes, nursing homes are legally responsible when their acts of negligence and high-handedness cause harm to a resident.
Let’s expound more on some nursing home actions that might warrant a lawsuit and how to fight for your rights:
- Actions that should warrant a lawsuit
- Proving cases of abuse and negligence
- How to take your case to court
- Final thoughts
Actions that should warrant a lawsuit
Nursing home facilities and staff are liable for legal action through intentional acts, failure to act and accidents on-site.
Here are a few examples:
- Not having the facility free of hazards. Sometimes, harm can occur to a resident due to dangers that the facility knew of but failed to address. That counts as reasonable negligence. For instance, failing to stop a fight that leads to harm on a resident is enough reason to sue for negligence.
- Not having solid health and safety policies. The nursing home should ensure sanitary, livable conditions for its residents. Failure to maintain health and safety in the resident rooms and common areas should warrant a legal suit.
- Not offering adequate medical treatment. Substandard medical care could lead to harm to a resident. The facility should take legal responsibility for such medical malpractice.
- Not doing enough training to new staff members. Negligent hiring could lead to neglect, abuse, or intentional harm to a resident. A nursing home is responsible if they do not do due diligence when hiring new employees. It is their responsibility to look at the history of everyone they bring to the facility to take care of the patients. They should also train and supervise the employees adequately to prevent cases of negligence or abuse.
Proving cases of abuse and negligence
Acts of negligence and abuse may happen in a nursing home facility, but the only way to get justice is by providing sufficient proof.
Here are some ways to prove the legitimacy of your allegations:
Note signs of abuse
As a family member to a nursing home resident, you have to be proactive in assessing the level of care in a facility. Understand the signs of abuse and neglect that will help your case. Note any incidences you witness and any tell-tale signs that your loved one is not receiving appropriate care.
Get hold of medical records
Get your loved one’s medical records. Review them to spot any inconsistencies that point to medical malpractice. It could be anything from unnecessary medication and treatments. Also, documentation of injuries indicates periods of abuse and neglect.
Pictures are a solid piece of evidence. Take photographs of unsafe premises and unsanitary living conditions. They help to prove claims of negligence and abuse. You could also take pictures of injuries.
Get witness statements
There may be some people that witnessed the incidences of abuse and neglect. It could be fellow residents, family members visiting their loved ones, or staff members. Obtaining witness statements makes it easier to prove your case.
Obtain ombudsman complaints
The ombudsman programs tend to have records of complaints against a facility and the outcome of the cases. Frequent cases and allegations could prove a history of neglect and substandard care.
Hire an attorney
Hiring a nursing home abuse attorney makes it easier to substantiate your claims. An attorney will help file motions and obtain records from the state and county governments. These motions are necessary for compelling the nursing home to release any relevant documents. Consider working with these nursing home abuse attorneys to help you get justice for your loved ones.
How to take your case to court
The statutes of limitations for filing cases against nursing homes vary in different states. Different places have varying laws on who can sue the nursing home, what you can sue them for, and how much compensation you get when you prove negligence. Hiring an attorney keeps you in safe hands. They will help you understand the various limitations in your state. An experienced attorney understands how to gather evidence, file claims, and navigate the legal process. A legal counsel can also guide you in the process of the nursing home opts to settle the claims out of court. The attorney can go through the agreements to ascertain if it is fair. They are also more likely to negotiate a better one.
Abuse and neglect are things that nursing homes should not get away with, regardless of the state. It is unacceptable for facilities to take advantage of the vulnerable people they need to protect. Hiring an experienced attorney gives you a chance of receiving the best possible outcome in the event of an abuse or neglect case. Your family can get justice and compensation for the damages, pain and suffering you have gone through.