What do you do if you suspect that a family member has suffered abuse or faced negligence at the nursing home? You must act decisively and intelligently, to protect their interests by taking these appropriate steps. If your loved one, grandparent or parent has suffered due to elderly abuse, you need to put an end to the abuse as soon as possible.
Your loved one could be entitled to some financial compensation but the abused person can only file a legal claim, and they could refuse to do so because they were afraid. Urgent steps to file a lawsuit need to be initiated if you have a remote suspicion that there has been abuse.
Speak to management
All medical facilities accepting Medicaid or Medicare must abide by strict guidelines relating to resolving and reporting nursing home issues. Complain to their management about specific staff members involved in harming your relative. Take steps to document instances of any retaliation from the staff member or tension and worsening of care conditions of your loved one. If the problem relates to the management, filing a claim with the State’s Adult Protective Services (APS) is necessary. You may also lodge a complaint with the State Medical Licensing Board that allows the medical facility to operate.
Consult an Attorney Immediately!
You must not delay seeking legal counsel and help. The abuse can only continue but may be escalated and if you wait too long, the defence claim can be raised that if the suspected abuse events were so egregious, then the suit should have been filed sooner. Also the risk of destruction of any evidence arises, as abusers try to hide evidence of abuse and wounds too can heal. Today, almost everyone has a camera on their phone, and if you see bruising or cuts on your relatives in a nursing home, get pictures of them in case of later need. Most states have a law of limitations on senior nursing home abuse and one has a limited period of time to file your complaint. After that period, no court will entertain your claim. If any abuse is witnessed, you must report it. When discussing with your attorney, you need to explain steps taken up with management to resolve issues and find solutions, with details of:
- Names and designations of staff members involved
- Staff members spending maximum time with your relative
- Incident reports from witnesses
- Pictures of injuries or harm on your loved one’s body
- Pictures of unsanitary or dangerous conditions
An Attorney’s Duties
Many lawyers who take on such cases on a contingency basis, also specialize in personal injury and medical malpractice cases and work. Consult your attorney about payment concerns for legal counsel, but don’t delay due to fear of attorney fees. Your attorney has resources and power to investigate the claims made by you. They will also assist in preparation of a draft of the complaint to be filed with the Clerk’s office. In this complaint, you must work along with your attorney to gather sufficient evidence in support of your allegations. An attorney will know all important deadlines, the paperwork needed to be filled out, and the supportive documents you will need. You must take pains not to miss out on filing a claim before the statute of limitations runs out, besides ensuring that you are updated with nursing home abuse law prior to filing your claim.