Sending your loved one to live in a nursing home is a challenging prospect for anyone. It can make it so hard to determine what is happening and to really keep track of the health of your family member. Keeping this in mind, when dealing with a nursing home abuse lawsuit, it is always a good idea to know what your rights are and how to best protect your loved one. 

What is Considered Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is any action or inaction on the part of the nursing home staff that results in the injury or death of a patient. This can be nearly anything. It can be physically assaulting the person in the nursing home, hitting them, sexual assault, or any touch that results in physical injury. This can also be things like neglect. 

If a person in a nursing home is not cared for, they develop bedsores, they are not given the proper medication or nutrition, and so on. These are all issues that would be considered to be nursing home abuse. Nursing home abuse is very serious, it takes place every single day in nursing homes across the United States. It can be very simple abuse that only happens once and that does not lead to lasting damages and effects, or it can be long lasting or even end in the death of the patient. 

When it comes to nursing home abuse, this is a very serious thing that does not need to be ignored and that does not need to be forgotten. If you believe that your loved one is being abused in the nursing home, it is so important to take the time to collect your evidence and then work to build a case so that your loved one can receive justice. 

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?

The first thing that you need to do is to take the time to document the abuse or document what you suspect. If you visit a loved on and you find that they have bruises or bed sores, you should take photographs of those injuries so that you have evidence of them, even after they have healed. Photographic evidence is going to be your best evidence in this case. 

You may also want to ask your loved one how they got the injury. It is always best to get their side of the story and see if they feel that they were abused or if the injury was a result of a genuine accident. It is never a good idea to start accusing people immediately of abuse or to accuse the nursing home of abuse until you have evidence for fear of retaliation and for fear of possible abuse as a result of the claim. 

After you have started to collect your information and evidence, you can talk with a lawyer about what options you have. You need to file a formal complaint with the nursing home so that the abuse is on record with the nursing home as well as with you. Filing a complaint is also going to give the nursing home time to do their own investigation and see if they can find out what happened and get rid of the person or persons that are responsible for the abuse. 

You then need to take your evidence and the official report to your lawyer. They are first going to go over the case with you, they are going to go over the evidence that you have collected, the report from the nursing home, as well as any supporting medical reports that you might have on hand to help corroborate your claims. 

You want to have as much proof as possible to help ensure that the nursing home cannot blame the injury on something else that is not related. It is important to take the time as well to ensure that if your loved one is still in the nursing home, that they are safe and are not going to be injured further by staying there. You want to make sure that you have all your facts straight before you start a potential lawsuit so that you can keep your loved one safe. 

In some cases, when nursing home abuse is exceptionally bad, it can lead to the death of a patient. In these cases you need to work even harder to collect necessary evidence and to prove that their death was caused by the action or inaction of the nursing home and not some other factor. This means getting an autopsy done, getting any pertinent medical records that might be needed, and so on. Your lawyer can help you better determine what sort of information you need. 

What Type of Settlement Can I Get?

This type of settlement is not going to be super straightforward and might be difficult for some to understand. Let’s look at the different outcomes that can happen as a result of nursing home abuse. The first is that the patient survives the abuse and is injured. This can mean that they simply need a bit of care to get better and to get over the injury that they have sustained. 

This may also mean that they are going to be moved to another facility or that the parties that caused the injury are going to be fired and held responsible. In this case, you can get money that helps to compensate for pain and suffering, money that helps to compensate for the injury and that also helps to compensate for any medical care that you have to pay for so that you can then get your loved one back in great shape. 

This type of settlement is often for negligence and can result in a large sum of money that can then be used to take your loved one to another facility where they will be better cared for, or help them to get back in good shape at the facility in which they are currently housed. 

The other instance of abuse is when the abuse leads to the death of a patient. This is often going to be a wrongful death suit instead of a negligence case. This is certainly a very sad outcome that no one wants, but that does happen from time to time. In this case, you would have to be a family member of the person that has passed or someone whose life was affected directly by the passing of the person in question. 

This could be a child of a parent that passed, the parent of a child that has passed, a brother or sister, spouse or any other family member that was directly affected by the death of the individual. This cannot be just anyone that does not have any direct relationship to the person that has passed. This is to prevent just anyone from filing a nursing home abuse claim. 

With a wrongful death suit, you are going to be compensated for pain and suffering, the injuries that the person sustained while they were alive, as well as any costs that you had to put forth to bury the person or to take care of their final expenses. You may also get compensation for any medical bills that they had while they were alive and recovering from their injuries. 

How Long Do You Have To File for Nursing Home Abuse?

As a general rule, you only have one year from the reported date of the injury or incident to file a claim against the nursing home for abuse or neglect. The reason for this is to keep people from coming back years and years after the fact to file claims when there is not as much evidence and the incident is not as well reported or recorded. 

You need to make sure that if you suspect that there is some sort of abuse taking place, that you do take the time to gather your own evidence, but that you do move quickly enough that you are going to be able to get the report done before the statute of limitations runs out. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, it is important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can so that you can start to properly document and make a case against the nursing home. 

Filing a claim quickly does a few things, first it helps to get your loved one the money they need to be able to get the medical attention that they need to recover from the injuries that they have sustained. It also helps to get them out of the situation as quickly as possible so that they can start to recover both physically and mentally from what they have been through. 

Your lawyer is going to have the ability to collect the reports and information needed to ensure your loved one is cared for and that they are not still being abused. With nursing home abuse cases you do have to watch out for retaliation toward the patient after a report has been filed. Some workers and nursing homes will treat patients differently if they believe that they have filed a false report or if their jobs are on the line. 

With the help of a lawyer you can protect your family member and you can ensure that they are not going to be neglected or abused further as a result of the case. It is always a good idea to have a lawyer on your side to help protect your loved on in the event that they are still in the nursing home and cannot leave. 

How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is far more common than you might imagine. More and more people are being put into nursing homes as a result of old age and not being able to live with family members or other people in their old age. Nursing homes, for the most part, are safe places where older people and those with severe disabilities can go to be cared for by professional medical staff so that they can live the remainder of their life in comfort. 

For many people that work in nursing homes, it is the goal to help ensure that patients are safe and happy, for some, it is not as big of a concern that patients be safe. Nursing home abuse happens every day, it happens multiple times a day and it is something that is going to keep happening no matter how well monitored nursing homes are. 

If your loved one is abused in a nursing home, reporting them is as much to protect your loved one as it is to protect those that might also be in the nursing home with them. The best way to keep these nursing homes from injuring patients is to hold them accountable and to report cases of nursing home abuse when it happens. 

How Much of A Settlement Can You Get?

You can get a sizeable settlement from a nursing home that has been found guilty of abuse. The means for determining how much you can get is determined by a few different factors. First, the extent of the injury or abuse. As terrible as it sounds, the worse the abuse the larger the potential settlement. The next thing that is taken into account is how much medical care is needed to recover from the injury. This can mean how many medical bills they have and how long it takes to recover if recovery is possible. 

The last thing that is often taken into account is the lasting effects that it has on the person that was abused and on their family. If the person has survived the abuse, how is their quality of life after the fact going to be affected by the abuse that they sustained and by what they went through, do they have lasting medical conditions as a result of the abuse, was it a one time abuse and so on. These are all going to be factors that your attorney takes into account when arguing your case and arguing what the overall settlement will be. 

How To Prove Negligence?

In most cases, a nursing home abuse case is going to be considered to be negligence. To prove negligence you have to have four principles proven, burden of care, breach of burden, injury and then damages. This means first and foremost that you have to be able to prove that there was some duty of care of the nursing home. You must prove that the person that was injured as a patient at the facility when the abuse took place. 

Next, you have to be able to prove that there was a breach of that duty of care. In this case, the abuse and the proof that the abuse took place at the facility in which the person was housed and was meant to be kept safe. The next thing that needs to be proven is that there was some injury that was the result of the abuse that took place at the facility. The last thing that needs to be established are the damages that you are entitled to get back from the injury. 

This is if you are proving a negligence case for the person that was injured at a nursing home. If the individual dies, you are also going to be able to file a wrongful death suit on the part of the person that passed away. Your attorney is again going to need to prove that there was a duty of care, a breach of the duty, that there was a resultant injury and that there are damages that need to be paid. 

Your attorney is going to be able to help you figure out how to get this information collected so that you can really get your settlement and so that you can put the abuse behind you. It is so difficult to deal with a case of abuse for a person that was so helpless and depended on someone else for care and did not receive it. 

An attorney is going to be able to do three things, first, they are going to be able to help you collect any information, any necessary paperwork or other reports that are needed, and anything else that you are going to need to be able to prove duty of care and breach of that duty. The second thing they are going to be able to do is be a proxy between you and the nursing home. This means that you are not going to have to talk with them more and you are going to be able to focus on healing. 

The third thing that they are going to do is help you and your family member get a settlement that helps you to get through the abuse and get better on the other side. Abuse of a person that is so helpless is a terrible thing. It can be hard handle for those that are dealing with an abuse case to really fathom what is going on and learn how to handle it. For those that are dealing with nursing home abuse, it is important to note that an attorney is going to be able to help you get justice for your family member and get compensation so that you can start to recover and you can get over the issue altogether.