Nursing home abuse of the elderly is more common than you may believe. However, seniors may not be in a position to report and the relatives may not even be aware of the abuse or negligence. Fortunately, nursing home abuse law comes to the rescue of such victims. It sets clear criminal, civil and regulatory standards for dealing with the unlawful treatment of the elderly by staff and administrators at a care facility. Failure to meet these standards means that the nursing home can be penalized and would even have to pay monetary damage awards to the victim. If you or an elderly relative goes through such a situation, you can go ahead and claim compensation. Let us highlight the legal options you have.
A negligence lawsuit is the best recourse
From the victim’s perspective, a negligence lawsuit is the best legal recourse you can pursue. Even the family or loved ones can file a claim on the nursing home on the behalf of a senior who has suffered abuse or negligence. Nursing homes are usually run by corporations or business entities that operate for earning profit. Obviously, they would be liable to pay the victims their rightful compensation if held responsible for any kind of the wrong action. While a lawsuit will assure compensation for you, it will also obligate the care facility to implement positive changes. So a lawsuit is worth all the effort.
Recognizing the warning signs of abuse or neglect
The challenging aspect of nursing home abuse is that legal violations often go unreported and the guilty people are never punished. Sometimes, seniors may not be cognizant of the situation and at others, they may be apprehensive about the consequences of reporting. More often, it is the family members who recognize the concern and take action. So it is important to be vigilant about the warning signs that indicate abuse or neglect for your elderly relative. Sudden weight gain or loss, dehydration, lacerations, bruising, sanitary concerns, and bedsores are some signs you shouldn’t ignore.
Understanding the kind of abuse or neglect
Whether you are a senior living in a care facility or have a relative there, it is important to understand the concept of abuse in a nursing home environment. Once you are sure about something being amiss, you can learn more about the legal action to take and the lawyers to approach for fighting them out. The first kind of abide related to the condition of the facility. The place should be clean, safe and well equipped to ensure comfortable living for seniors. Additionally, it should provide nutritious meals, medications, onsite emergency care, social services and recreational activities for the residents. A nursing home that fails on these fronts can be held liable for abuse. The other form of abuse pertains to misconduct, which may be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial.
Proving negligence and claiming compensation
When it comes to nursing home abuse, you can prove negligence by showing that an employee has injured you or a loved one by failing to give a reasonable standard of care. You can also claim compensation for intentional abusive conduct of the caregivers. In both cases, the court will consider the circumstances- regulatory standards in case of negligence and intentional acts in case of abuse- and award compensation for the damages. These include the value of medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, and mental anguish. The ones involving intentional acts will also be awarded punitive damages to compensate you and punish the offender.
Nursing home abuse is something you shouldn’t stay quiet about, whether it happens with you or a loved one. Taking legal action will not only get you compensation but also ensure that others in the facility do not suffer.