Find a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Near You

Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers

Nursing homes have to provide a safe environment and meet each person’s needs. However, neglect is common in facilities throughout the country. The improper care of residents can lead to severe consequences for the victims.

When family members can detect warning signs of neglect, they can seek justice for their loved ones. The law entitles the victim to compensation for injuries.

Talk with a nursing home negligence lawyer near you to learn about possible options.

Forms of Nursing Home Neglect

Lack of Hygiene

Approximately 15.3 percent of nursing home complaints are for gross neglect. Neglect can come in a variety of forms. In some cases, a person suffers from a lack of proper hygiene. Many residents require help with bathing and brushing their teeth. Staff members may need to assist with laundry.

A loved one’s quality of life declines without basic care. Staffing shortages increase the risk of inadequate hygiene since fewer people are around to offer dedicated supervision.

Medical Neglect

Employees of a nursing home have to administer the correct medication dosage at the right time. They should tend to residents who are sick or have an infection. If someone has limited mobility, a staff member must move them regularly to avoid sores.

Gross negligence can cause a decline in a resident’s physical health. In severe cases, a condition worsens and becomes fatal.

Emotional Neglect

Emotional neglect is as harmful as physical neglect. Most people need human interaction to live a happy and healthy life. In a nursing home, a person could suffer from isolation for long periods. A staff member might ignore or demean the resident.

The victim could become depressed or anxious due to emotional neglect. You might notice changes in your family member’s behavior. For example, they could appear withdrawn when you visit them.

The Rights of Nursing Home Residents

#1. Free From Discrimination

Federal law allows residents to have several rights. States provide additional protections for people who live in nursing homes. A facility must explain your rights clearly before you live there. One protection is freedom from discrimination. While a nursing home does not have to accept everyone who applies as a resident, facilities cannot reject an applicant based on factors like race or disability. They need to adhere to Civil Rights laws.

#2. Right to Participate in Activities

Many nursing homes have activities to meet people’s needs. The type of programs available may vary depending on the facility. If an activity benefits your mental and physical health, you have the right to participate in it. Neglect can occur if a resident cannot partake in daily programming.

#3. Right to Proper Medical Care

You and other people in a nursing home have the right to receive proper medical care. You should be able to learn about your health status. You have the right to know your options for all your prescriptions, medications, vitamins, and supplements.

Under federal law, nursing home residents can select the doctor of their choice. Nursing homes must develop a care plan for each resident. Decisions for medical care should involve the patient’s informed input. Additionally, individuals can have access to all their medical records.

#4. Money Management

You are the one who gets to manage your funds, or you can designate someone you trust to handle your financial assets. Some people request facilities to create accounts to hold their money. You must sign a written agreement before you deposit money with the facility.

Nursing homes cannot withhold a resident’s access to their bank accounts or cash. Some complaints are of financial exploitation of residents.

#5. Right to File a Complaint

The law allows you to file a complaint about a service, staff member, or another resident. Some people do not speak up about their neglect for fear of retaliation. Residents should be able to do so without concerns of possible punishment. Nursing homes need to adequately respond to a person’s issues quickly.

Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Neglect?

Federal and state laws hold people responsible for incidents of nursing home neglect.

Potential negligent parties are:

  • Staff members and caregivers. Over 64 percent of cases involve neglect from a nursing home worker. Staff members are the ones who have direct contact with residents. They must provide an appropriate level of care. You can hold them liable if they affect a loved one’s health and safety.
  • Administrators. In several instances, you can hold an administrator accountable for harm. They help manage a person’s finances and accounts. An administrator must protect residents’ funds and ensure they get their money. You may sue administrators if you detect fraud.
  • Nursing homes. The facility itself can be liable for negligence if the company does not ensure a safe environment for residents. The people who live there have the right to refuse a visitor, but a few nursing homes deny the request. If the visitor harms the individual, you can sue the facility for neglect.

Keep an eye out for signs of nursing home neglect. You might see visual clues or changes in behavior. You can report if negligence occurred and then file a claim.

Is Eviction From a Long-Term Care Facility Negligence?

A nursing home can evict a resident if the facility has a valid reason. The resident may fail to pay for services or create a clear danger to others. The eviction procedure includes a 30-day written notice. However, some nursing homes do not follow protocol or have a legitimate reason.

A facility might illegally discharge a resident and leave them at a homeless shelter or on the streets. This “hospital dumping” happens to thousands of people. Hospital dumping is when a resident goes to the hospital to get treatment. After they complete their care, the nursing home informs them they cannot return.

Many residents do not receive a warning ahead of time. The sudden eviction leaves them confused and frightened. Victims become vulnerable to chronic medical conditions and violence. A wrongful discharge makes nursing homes liable for emotional and bodily harm.

Who Can File a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit?

The victim can begin a claim by reaching out to a lawyer to protect their rights against a long-term care facility. However, some people might not have the mental capacity to make legal decisions.

If a resident cannot file a lawsuit, a family member can gain power of attorney over the case. Power of attorney gives a person the authority to make decisions on behalf of someone else. They have the right to bring a lawsuit to court to obtain compensation for a loved one’s injuries.

How to Report Nursing Home Neglect?

Regulations are in place so people can make a complaint with confidentiality. Your identity remains a secret unless you reveal it or a judge orders you to do so. Victims and their families have a couple of options if they need to report neglect.

One way to disclose an incident is to have your lawyer contact a nursing home ombudsman. They address and resolve safety and welfare concerns on a resident’s behalf. You can call an ombudsman if you detect poor quality food, medical errors, or wrongful eviction.

An ombudsman advocates for improved care and works with law enforcement during investigations. They provide education about your rights and resources. Another option available is to reach out to local authorities.

The police can take action if negligence leads to wrongful death. Alternatively, contact your state’s Adult Protective Services branch. The APS is responsible for managing neglect cases for older people living in nursing homes. You can look to a doctor for help as well.

Bedsores, dehydration, and other issues do not always mean the person suffers from neglect. Go to a healthcare provider to confirm if a condition is a sign of mistreatment. As a patient, a doctor can examine you for physical and emotional symptoms.

Reasons to File a Claim

The process of a nursing home neglect lawsuit is complicated. Even so, filing a claim against a long-term care facility can help loved ones. One reason you should sue a nursing home is to collect compensation.

Residents who suffer from neglect usually require medical care to improve their condition. Compensation helps victims and their loved ones afford past and future healthcare bills. A lawsuit holds the facility and employees responsible.

You can take action against the nursing home. The management team likely will make necessary changes to avoid legal consequences in the future. Additionally, other residents have less of a risk of physical and mental harm.

A nursing home neglect claim is not always straightforward. You might need a lawyer’s expertise to get the justice your loved one deserves.

How Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers Help?

If you believe a loved one is a victim of neglect, the law gives you the legal rights to protect them. The first step is to find a nursing home negligence lawyer near you. Some people believe they cannot afford litigation due to all the court costs and attorney fees.

However, most nursing home negligence attorneys operate on a contingency fee. Therefore, you usually do not need to pay upfront. A firm’s services can benefit your case, so hire an attorney right away.

A lawyer can:

  • Avoid an expired statute of limitations. Every state has a deadline for when you can file a nursing home negligence claim. The court will most likely toss out your case if time runs out. Lawyers know how life can occupy most of your time. They assemble the paperwork and take care of the filing, and you can focus on your family.
  • Prove your case. Like other personal injury lawsuits, you need to prove the defendant is guilty of negligence. An attorney meets the requirements of liability with evidence. Evidence includes medical records and witnesses who saw neglect occur. Lawyers have connections to expert witnesses who can testify to the credibility of your claim.
  • Improve your chances in court. Only a small percentage of claims make it to trial every year. If a lawsuit goes to court, the likelihood of a favorable outcome decreases. Having an attorney with experience can help you match a defendant’s aggressive tactics.

Firms work endlessly to build strong cases for their clients. Each lawsuit is different, so find a lawyer who can meet your needs.

How to Find a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Near You?

Ask People You Know

While firms are beneficial, you should not hire just any attorney you find. The right lawyer has to specialize in nursing home negligence since they are more familiar with the specific laws. One way you can begin your search is to ask someone you know.

A friend or co-worker might have dealt with a similar issue. They can recommend a firm to you. Keep in mind that a lawyer’s personality and style do not work well with everyone. The attorney might have been a good fit for your friend but not necessarily for you.

Browse Online

The internet allows people to connect to firms more efficiently than before. Online directories provide lists of local nursing home negligence lawyers. Attorneys have websites that list general information about areas of practice. You can find testimonials to get an idea of a lawyer’s professionalism and skills.

Schedule a Consultation

Worker’s Compensation Lawyers of St. Louis Personal Injury Law Firm

Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers at The Bruning Law Firm

Compile a list of possible candidates and meet with each one in person. Consultations are free, and the meeting helps you know if a lawyer is right for you. After discussing your claim, inquire about the attorney’s experience. Possible questions include how long they have been practicing and the number of similar cases they have represented.

Pay attention to how well the attorney communicates to you. They should be able to listen to you and explain confusing aspects clearly. You can find someone else if you believe the lawyer will not follow your wishes or keep you informed regularly.

Use your limited time to gauge the interest of the attorney. Not every lawyer will want to take on your claim. Some reject a client if the potential compensation is small while the overhead costs are high. If the chance of success is low, they might decide a case is not worth the effort.

If you or a loved one experienced neglect in a nursing home, seek a qualified attorney to support you through your claim.