The main role of a nursing home abuse lawyer is to help victims and their families find justice and obtain financial compensation if an older person is injured by employees or other residents of a nursing home. The harm can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or else. The problem is so serious that 1 in 6 adults in the United States aged 60 or older are victim of a form of abuse while in a community setting, according to WHO.
Nursing home residents are often old people who can no longer care for themselves. Their family pay the convalescent homes to take care of them with respect and love; unfortunately, these caregivers sometimes harm the elderly they were supposed to protect. The abuse can cause serious injury, or worst, death.
In this post, you will discover the many advantages of having a Nursing home abuse lawyer on your side, 5 criteria to find in a legal firm before you hire it for your case. Please, keep reading. At the end, you will discover 8 simple things you can do to prevent your loved one from being abused in nursing home.
5 Advantages of Hiring A Competent Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your parent or older relative has been abused or mistreated in a nursing home, you may wonder how these caregivers can be found accountable and pay for their crime. On your own, it is very difficult, but with the help an experience law firm you can. A credible lawyer can help you avoid mistakes, gather evidence, calculate a fair settlement amount, and negotiate with the opposing party.
While taking legal action isn’t going to undo the injury, it can help you get compensated and have enough financial possibility to provide better care to the victim. The legal action will also inspire change which may save other nursing home residents from the same abuse.
1. The Nursing Home Administrators Are Not On Your Side
Once institution learns of the abuse or neglect, the principals will likely contact you and offer to process the matter internally. No matter how understanding and helpful they are, it is important to remember that the interest of the nursing home managers is not yours. Ultimately, it’s in their best interest to pay you as little as possible. Refuse their offer. If you accept an unfair settlement and sign a statement, you will no longer be able to request additional compensation.
- Gathering Evidence Could Pose A Challenge
To prevail in a nursing home abuse case, you will need to overcome the nursing home status; therefore, you will need strong evidence of abuse or harm. Ignoring just one piece of critical evidence can make it hard to get a fair compensation. A properly experienced lawyer will know the types of evidence to collect and how to obtain proofs that have been withheld by the nursing home.
Ignoring just one piece of critical evidence could lead to defeat. An attorney with the proper experience will know the types of evidence to collect and what approaches to consider in order to win the case.
- Preventing Costly Inadvertent Errors
Allowing a nursing home lawyer to handle the logistics of your case will reduce the chance of costly errors. Here are some mistakes that could harm your chances of getting a fair settlement or compensation:
- Let critical deadlines pass;
- Post on the subject on social networks;
- Failure to track or compensate for damage; AND
- Negotiate a compensation or settlement on your own, without your lawyer.
- Basing on Other Claims to Define Yours
You may have found online resources that provide information on the laws and procedures to deal with nursing home abuse claims, but the truth, each case is different. For example, there is no single formula for a fair settlement, and the types of evidence needed to support one claim may differ from another one. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will know the best way to follow the facts of your case.
- Underestimating Passive Neglect
Many reasons such as, stress, substance abuse, or financial problems, can cause a caregiver to abuse a patient. These abuses are often passive and difficult to detect. They may include failure of the caregiver to provide the patient the basic necessities of life including, but not limited to, water, food, clothing, or medical care.
Some other forms of Passive Neglect include:
- Staffing issues
- Poor food quality
- Verbal abuse or insult
- Disruptions in sleep
- Slow responses to calls for help
- A lack of social interaction.
5 Criteria to Find In A Nursing Home Layer Before Hiring
When your loved one are in a nursing home, you believe they are under the care of qualified nursing professionals. However, incidents of elder abuse and neglect in real life tell a different story. If you suspect your parent has been neglected, the best way to deal with it is by hiring an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who knows the rules and regulations that govern the quality of care nursing home institutions should provide. But how to determine if you are hiring the right lawyer for your case?
Here are 5 criteria to seek and find in a lawyer before you hire him:
The current legal landscape requires intimate knowledge of specific areas of practice. A lawyer cannot be a “cat of all trades” and provide the successful representation you need. The root cause of ulcers, falls, medication errors, and other forms of abuse and neglect is more complex than the medical causes of these injuries. You need a lawyer who has spent time learning how to track down corporate entities that cause suffering to loved ones.
It’s called “practicing” the law for a reason. Over time, with experience, comes mastery of the specific problems and challenges of each case. Each nursing home abuse case presents unique problems, depending on the nature of the injuries and the institutional structure of the respective nursing home. Moving between these obstacles requires specialized experience, knowledge and practice.
Your legal representative must be able to communicate with you effectively. Neglecting a nursing home lawsuit requires the client to return to a very difficult and troublesome time in their life. Without open dialogue, this painful experience worsens.
Lawyers specialized in other fields often do not understand the depth of pain experienced by clients who have lost a family member due to the abuse of nursing home: abandonment, bedsores, falls, infections, or medication errors. These problems result from lack of understanding about the true cause of damage in nursing homes, decisions made by staff, and a lack of budget. Many lawyers only see an elderly or disabled person and ignore the abuse and neglect of the nursing home.
Insurance companies don’t like to pay for their clients’ mistakes. On your own it extremely difficult to convince them and reach a satisfying agreement. You need a lawyer who has experience in holding the nursing home accountable for resident’s injuries or abuse. Litigation is a long process where time is generally on the nursing home side. You need a lawyer who is ready to continue fighting with perseverance for a long time.
Nursing Home Abuse Prevention
Here are 8 steps you can take to prevent your parent from being abused in nursing home:
- First and foremost, set up a camera in the nursing home room if this legal in your state (some states prohibit doing so).
- Talk and listen to your elderly parent and take his complaints seriously.
- Contact the manager immediately to learn more about the complaint
- Learn how to detect or recognize signs or abuse or neglect: ulcers, broken bones, bedsores, head injuries, unexplained injuries, infections, malnutrition, dehydration, bad odor, neglect, suffocation, aspiration, excessive drug use, staff shortages, etc.
- Report abuse or suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services.
- Differentiate the signs of elder abuse from the normal aging process.
- Check-in often if patient has few friends or family members visiting him.
- Provide over-burdened caregivers with support if necessary.
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