You Suspect Mistreatment. What To Do Next?

Our legal system is based on proving a case through the use of evidence.  A mere suspicion of mistreatment in a nursing home or long-term care setting, is really just the beginning point in determining why your loved one suffered an injury or died.

Signs of possible physical abuse or neglect include: 

 Once you become aware of the physical signs of abuse, you may want to contact an attorney to help you learn more about the potential cause of the injury.  If a facility caused or contributed to the injury, an attorney can advise you as to your legal rights with respect to recovering damages.

Probable causes of nursing home injuries

Most situations involving nursing home abuse and neglect are the consequence of staffing problems at the facility.  Many nursing homes are chronically under-staffed by employees who may be under-trained and not equipped to handle residents who require high levels of care.  Moreover, high staff turnover is a common problem facing the nursing home industry.  Errors may result from the fact that employees may be unfamiliar with the individuals they are responsible for caring for and what their medical needs are.

What to look for what hiring a lawyer

Once the decision to hire an attorney is made, it is important to distinguish the lawyers who regularly handle nursing home cases from lawyers who may have a generalized law practice.  The field of nursing home litigation is very complex it is imperative that you work with a lawyer who regularly handles nursing home matters. 

Don’t shy away from asking attorneys about their experience with nursing home litigation.  An experienced attorney should never shy away from answering questions related to their practice and all aspects of nursing home litigation.  A good attorney should also be able to answer your questions in a way you can understand.  If you don’t understand them, how will a jury be able to follow them?

Given the fact that many nursing home negligence cases require years of work, it is important that you are comfortable with your attorney and feel like you can work with them.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the individual– you should look for another attorney.

The fee arrangement

Once an attorney is hired, he has an incentive in helping you learn the cause of your loved ones injury or abuse, as most nursing home attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.  Under a contingency fee arrangement, an attorney will only get paid if there is a recovery for your behalf. 

Time requirements for bringing a cause of action against a nursing home

All jurisdictions have time constraints, better known as statutes of limitations, for filing a lawsuit against the nursing home or parties responsible for the injury to your loved one.  If you fail to name the correct parties within the time limits set by each jurisdiction, your claim will be forever barred. 

Given the fact that some nursing home residents suffer from cognitive impairments and are unable to communicate what may have occurred during an incident, time must be allotted to conduct a thorough record review and an investigation to determine the merits of the case with respect to each party.  Consequently, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as you are comfortable after an incident.

The decision to hire an attorney is very much a personal decision.  However once an attorney is hired, it should give you some relief that you have someone looking out for your best interest. Your decision to prosecute the harmful acts of nursing homes may lead to safety improvements for future nursing home residents-even yourself.  Over the last decade, improvements in patient care have been made by the nursing home industry in response to issues raised in the course of litigation.

Jonathan Rosenfeld represents individuals and families in cases against nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  Jonathan is the author of the Nursing Homes Abuse Blog

Admin Note: Thank You, Jonathan, for your blog post. I hope to get more opportunities to post informatiion from you.

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2 Responses to “A guest Lawyer blogs on Nursing Home”

  1. Nursing Home Says:

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  2. Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Downtown LA Says:

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