Residents of nursing homes are vulnerable. While most residents are elderly, nursing homes also provide care to younger residents. Whatever the age, residents face medical limitations requiring them to depend on others for their care and quality of life.
If you or a loved one has been neglected or mistreated in a nursing home, consult with a lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC right away. Your lawyer will fight to hold the nursing home accountable and bring you the compensation and justice you deserve.
What Counts as Neglect?
A nursing home is demonstrating neglect if it is not meeting you or your loved one’s basic needs, such as providing food and nutrition, allows them to exist in unsanitary states or environments, does not provide required medical care, or allows them to experience emotional or social isolation.
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What Are Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
Signs of neglect can take a variety of forms so you should always be on the lookout for any time something seems amiss with your loved one’s care. Some more common signs of neglect include
- Unexplained injuries: broken bones or fractures, bruising, and abrasions warrant investigation and could indicate your loved one is left in unsafe situations or is not being properly monitored, leading to falls or other accidents.
- Bedsores: these wounds may indicate caregivers are not attending to and repositioning your loved one consistently.
- Poorly maintained rooms and living spaces: dirty linens, floors, bathrooms, furniture, or other spaces and surfaces show a failure to maintain hygienic conditions and present a danger of spreading germs and disease along with showing a lack of basic care.
- Repeat injuries: if your loved one experiences similar injuries over and over, this indicates their safety needs are not being noticed and met.
- Poor ventilation, lighting, or other utilities
- Inadequate staffing
Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence?
In most states, the victim or representative, usually a family member or members, can sue a nursing home for negligence.
Negligence cases require plaintiffs (victims) to prove:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care. The defendant had an obligation to act (or refrain from acting) in ways to preserve the victim’s safety.
- The defendant breached or failed to fulfill that duty of care.
- The breach of that duty led to the victim’s injuries.
- The injuries brought measurable damage to the victim.
Your lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLCwill examine you or your loved one’s situation to determine where the nursing home breached their duty of care and the damages you or your loved one incurred because of that breach.
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Are There Laws Governing a Nursing Home’s Standard of Care?
Each state has laws governing nursing home standards. There are also federal laws in place to regulate nursing home processes and policies and to protect residents.
The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA)
The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) is a federal law. Any long-term-care facility accepting Medicare or Medicaid must comply with all aspects of the law. The NHRA includes a patient’s Bill of Rights which includes the right to “freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect.”
It also includes requirements of standards of care offered by the facility, such as maintaining adequate staff, ensuring residents’ hygiene, providing access to medical treatment and administering medications appropriately, among other standards.
The Elder Justice Act
The Elder Justice Act requires nursing home staff to report incidents of abuse, established a background check database to help facilities hire qualified staff, and funds Adult Protection Services throughout the country.
Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC lawyers are experts in the state and federal laws overseeing nursing homes and care for the elderly and vulnerable. Your lawyer will investigate your claim and hold the facility accountable for all areas of noncompliance.
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What Damages Can I Collect in a Settlement?
The damages you sue for and the amount of the settlement depend on the specifics of the case. Most often, cases warrant compensation for
- Additional medical expenses related to the victim’s mistreatment
- Family members’ economic losses related to caring for the victim’s worsened situation
- Travel expenses and legal fees
- Loss of consortium
- Physical and emotional pain and distress
- Other expenses resulting from the neglect
- Punitive damages to hold the facility accountable
The amount of the settlement is affected by the severity of the neglect and subsequent physical, mental, and/or emotional damage that resulted, recovery time for both the victim and their family, and the extent of the medical costs. The victim’s age and overall condition and prognosis are influencing factors as well.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Pursue My Case?
The amount of your settlement depends on the strength of your case. Weak cases prompt weak settlement offers from responsible parties. Your lawyer knows how to build a strong case, has expert knowledge of the law, and will
- Determine the party or parties responsible for the neglect.
- Collect thorough evidence to prove negligence and its consequences.
- Consult with relevant experts, such as doctors, elder care advocates, psychologists, or building inspectors, depending on the area of neglect and its effects.
- Conduct a comprehensive investigation of the facility and its history.
- Advocate for you or your loved ones during negotiations.
- Represent you in court should you need to take the case to trial.
Responsible parties are known to offer low settlements or find ways to delay or deny paying compensation when victims do not have legal representation. With a Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC lawyer fighting for you, you are more likely to see a fair settlement offer.
Why Should I File a Lawsuit?
We trust nursing homes to care for the most vulnerable members of society. Residents are often unable to advocate for themselves and are therefore most at risk for mistreatment. Nursing homes that do not fulfill their duty of caring for residents must be held accountable, not just for the sake of compensation and justice, but to show all facilities that such mistreatment will not be tolerated.
When it comes to elder abuse, many states are mandatory-reporting states, meaning any witnessed or known incident of neglect or abuse must be reported to the appropriate offices. Your lawyer can help you navigate that reporting process.
How Can I Contact an Attorney?
If you or a loved one has experienced neglect or abuse at a nursing home, contact a lawyer immediately. Go to the Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC contact page to call us or send a message, and we will respond quickly. The consultation is completely free. The sooner we start building your case, the sooner you and your loved one will see justice.