From Consultation to Compensation: Legal Pathways for Nursing Home Abuse Victims

Updated on January 24, 2024

Most people prefer to age in place since growing old in a familiar environment, whether alone or with family members, feels comfortable and reassuring. But if that is not an option, nursing homes can be a good choice for older adults. These institutions provide personal and long-term medical care, which can be beneficial if a senior loved one has chronic or terminal conditions. Estimates state that around 8 percent of older adults in America live in nursing homes today, and not only do they need medical care, but they also require help to do everyday activities, such as eating, walking, and using the restroom. 

As most nursing homes have been providing elderly care for decades, it’s easy to feel at ease, thinking that your loved one is in good hands. But what if your elderly parent or relative starts having unexplained bruises or welts on their body or seems to be always unkempt, fearful, or irritable? These could be signs of a subpar or dangerous nursing home, and while you always have the option to transfer your loved one to another facility, it is imperative to seek justice and compensation for what they went through. For that, you will need the help of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. Here is a simple guide to know what to expect, from consultation to getting rightful compensation for your loved one. 

The Consultation Process

The legal process for nursing home abuse and neglect cases starts with choosing the right lawyer to handle your case. According to experts at  www.cohenfeeley.com, you must look for a local attorney specializing in nursing home abuse cases to ensure a favorable outcome. During your initial consultation, you must bring documents or evidence of abuse, such as photos or videos and medical records, so your attorney can determine if you have grounds for a claim. If you need proof or documents to back up your claims, do not fret. Your lawyer can gather evidence on your behalf once they start the investigation process.

Gathering Evidence

Photos or videos of your loved one’s injuries are easy enough to obtain as you can film them yourself. However, some pieces of evidence to prove the abuse of your elderly parent or relative in the nursing home may be more challenging to access. Nursing homes will do what they can to protect their best interests. Moreover, some victims may be scared to report abuse incidents to the proper authorities. In fact, according to a study, in 28 percent of nursing home abuse incidents that led to emergency room visits, there was no evidence of reports to law enforcement. 

In this case, having a lawyer by your side can be beneficial since they can obtain necessary evidence through a subpoena. With it, your attorney can have the nursing home hand over CCTV footage, staff schedules, and even former staff’s contact information. Complaints filed against the nursing home or frequent allegations of abuse can also help to build your case against the facility. 

Filing the Lawsuit and Getting Compensation

After gathering all the essential information and necessary evidence, your lawyer can now file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in court. The facility or the staff should respond after filing the lawsuit – failure to do so means they will automatically lose the case. In most nursing home abuse or neglect cases, parties usually choose to settle to avoid the hassle of going to trial. With a settlement, your lawyer can secure the right amount to compensate your loved one

Although no amount of money can pay for the physical pain and emotional distress your elderly parent or relative experienced, the money from the settlement can help your loved one heal. They may use it for medical treatments or therapy, pay the fees to relocate to a better nursing facility, or access other means of care.  

Knowing that your loved one has experienced abuse in a nursing home can be heartbreaking, but you do not need to fight for justice by yourself. With the help of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, you can protect your elderly loved one and seek compensation, which can hopefully lead toward the path to healing. 

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