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Nursing Home Lawsuit

Due to the overwhelming amount of abuse and neglect that occurs each year in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the United States, a rather vast number of nursing home lawsuits filed every year with the national number of reports of suspected elder abuse rising exponentially annually to nearly one million reports. Moreover, the disconcerting reality is that less than twenty percent of nursing home abuse cases are reported, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. With an estimated incidence rate as a high as ten percent across the lifetime of an aging individual, maltreatment of the elderly has suddenly captured the attention of the media, lawmakers, and litigators. With most abuse of the elderly occurring within the confines of nursing home or elderly care facilities, nursing home lawsuits often seek to hold both individual employees and medical professionals, as well as businesses and business owners, liable for negligent care causing damages.

When to File a Nursing Home Lawsuit

First, elderly patients must communicate their intentions and willingness to proceed with claims against negligent providers, which may require the arrangement of a legal framework known as power attorney to allow family members to pursue legal cases on behalf of their elderly relative.

  • In the event of suspected nursing home abuse, documenting suspicions will prove helpful, if the context of the case leads the individual to believe that no elderly individual is in immediate danger
  • The second step is to report suspected incidents of abuse of the elderly individuals with evidence documentation to the appropriate authorities, which most likely will include nursing home facility officials, medical healthcare providers, the state’s elderly care division or department, and finally, possibly local enforcement in the event of criminal cases of elder a use
  • If the abuse or neglect continues or if considering future legal action, documenting steps taken in contacting appropriate authorities in the case of a nursing home lawsuit is essential, as clients should be consulting with legal counsel directly about their case at this juncture.
  • Once a potential plaintiff has the necessary documentation, witness statements, and if applicable, certificates of merit or medical testimony, moving forward with a lawsuit is highly likely should the elderly patient’s case exhibit clear signs of negligent nursing home care and that the negligent nursing home care as the cause of injury, harm, or financial damage to the patient

Valuing Nursing Home Lawsuit Claims in Advance

A nursing home or assisted living lawsuit can help relieve the financial burden and medical expenses that were incurred due to the negligence of the facilities in question. These damages sustained due to substandard care at nursing home depend entirely on the individual case, however, frequently include relocation of the patient costs, additional medical expenses, decreased quality of life, and in certain instances, non-economic or punitive damages for emotional distress or mental anguish.

Quick Considerations for Nursing Home Lawsuits:

  • Jurisdiction matters in elder abuse cases, with criminal statutes by state widely varying concerning elevated protections for senior citizens. Likewise, civil statutes vary appreciably between states, which requires that patients first contact a nursing home lawsuit lawyer from the state where the alleged substandard care occurred.
  • Consult with a lawyer sooner than later to quickly determine if there may be statutes of limitation closing the window of time that a patient has to file suit after discovering or experiencing elder abuse
  • Certain states, although certainly not all, have seen court cases involving secretly recorded videos from family members and concerned third parties in the event of suspected acts of abuse that otherwise lacked definitive proof

For more information on nursing home lawsuits, as well as news and statistics on nursing home litigation nationally, consult the following resources from USDHH’s National Center on Elder Abuse and the American Bar Association:

http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/library/data/#nursinghomes

http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/About/News/index.aspx

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_aging/resources/elder_abuse.html

 

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