At their best, nursing homes offer a place where loved ones can enjoy their golden years under the supervised care of professionals. Unfortunately, because of the increasing frequency of improper and negligent care, there is a rising need for understanding when and why you might need to file a lawsuit.
Knowing when to move a loved one into a nursing home is difficult enough on its own. But if you suspect malpractice and improper treatment once they get there do know how to respond?
There are so many ways a loved one can receive the wrong care. Even misreading a chart has resulted in death for some patients.
Make sure you protect your loved ones. Here are 7 things to know before filing a nursing home lawsuit:
1. The Law Is On Your Side in A Nursing Home Lawsuit
In the past, there were laws that actually made filing a nursing home lawsuit very difficult. However, in an effort to increase the quality of care and protect the elderly there has been a shift in patient’s legal rights.
A reform of requirements for nursing home facilities using Medicaid and Medicare programs now allows legal action to include reviewing records of abuse and malpractice in nursing home cases. The rules were part of a larger reform that went into effect in November of 2016.
You may be under the impression that because of federal protections it is nearly impossible to file a successful lawsuit against a nursing home facility. That is no longer the case.
If you suspect mistreatment or abuse the law can now help you in a case.
2. You Are Not Alone
One of the worst parts of preparing for a nursing home lawsuit is coming to understand how widespread the problems can be. If you suspect a loved one is being abused, mistreated, or worse, there is a fair chance you are right.
More than 1,000 nursing homes in the United States were cited for rape, sexual assault, and abuse between 2013 and 2016. And out of these incidents, 100 of the nursing homes were cited multiple times.
Some experts say that as many as 1 in 3 patients have been abused in nursing homes. Clearly, the statistics show that there is a good chance you may have a case on your hands.
3. Eviction Issues
There have been a number of cases in Illinois where patients have been evicted from nursing homes. As a result of these evictions, they were unable to get the treatment they needed and suffered consequences.
Involuntary discharge from nursing homes happened in more than 5,000 cases in 2015. Nursing home lawsuits aren’t always the result of poor care while inside the facility itself.
If your loved one was evicted and suffered health consequences down the road these situations may be related. Understanding the connection between corporate greed and poor nursing home care may leave you with a lawsuit to pursue.
4. The Importance of Representation
One of the mistakes families and loved ones of patients in nursing homes can make is waiting too long to address a questionable situation. Like other difficult issues people many times want to believe things aren’t as bad as they think.
Or, in other cases, they attempt to pursue an investigation on their own. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or suffering mistreatment it is important to pursue help as soon as possible.
The right legal help can assist you in evaluating the situation. Remember, when it comes to requesting records and information on treatment, you are dealing with the same agencies who may be at fault.
Talking to a lawyer with experience will help you understand the issue and how to best pursue legal action. Don’t wait too long to get legal help.
Failing to proceed with representation and the benefit of experience can mean the difference between failure and success in your case.
5. Other Types of Mistreatment
While part of nursing home care often includes medical attention and health treatments abuse can extend far beyond the parameters of medical malpractice when pursuing a nursing home lawsuit.
As stated above, these abuses can be sexual in nature. They can also extend to misreading a chart or providing improper medication.
In one lawsuit a patient died after he was given food that didn’t comply with the orders of his doctor. This Chicago nursing home patient tragically died after being allowed to eat the food while unsupervised.
The result was a settlement that was over $800,000.
If you are considering addressing abuse or mistreatment in a nursing home situation it is wise to evaluate all methods of care.
6. Lawsuits Have Major Monetary Value
Beyond the heartbreak of dealing with the abuse and mistreatment of your loved ones, it is important to understand the financial implications of a nursing home lawsuit.
As stated above, nursing home lawsuits can bring awards in the hundreds of thousands. Recently one nursing home provider reached a deal to award over $50 million to resolve federal lawsuits.
Not only are the types of lawsuits varied, and the prevalence of abuse hard to comprehend– but there are major monetary awards in these cases.
7. Help To Protect Others
The sad truth is that monetary awards or legal action cannot undo any mistreatment or abuse your loved ones may have faced in a nursing home. But beyond protecting your loved ones there is the important measure of stopping the abuse for other patients when pursuing a lawsuit.
It is not just the safety of your loved ones that is at risk. A nursing home lawsuit will bring malpractice and abuse forefront and help to stop the infractions.
The right legal team will have positive testimonials from clients who can attest to the experience of skill of your lawyers.
The Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo LLC can provide the help you need. Not just to help you and your loved ones, but to protect other members of the community.
Don’t wait to get the legal assistance you require. Contact us today for a free consultation.