Neglect in a nursing home is different from abuse. Neglect is considered a substandard of care or a breach of duty by the caregivers who are entrusted to care for the patient. Caregivers who commit neglect should be held accountable for their actions. In addition, the caregivers should have known their actions were foreseeable. Intention harm to a patient is considered abuse. If neglect or abuse occurs, the caregiver and nursing home should be held accountable for their actions. In some situations, neglect or abuse can lead to the wrongful death of a patient and a lawsuit can be filed against the negligent party.
Signs of Abuse
Abuse can be blatantly obvious or it can be very subtle. Rough handling in or out of a wheelchair, use of excessive water pressure, pinching or elbowing a patient when they’re handling them are subtle forms of abuse. Common signs of abuse include dehydration, malnutrition, falls, fractures, bed sores, prescription errors, medical mistakes, misdiagnosis, and restraint injuries can be pursued by an experienced attorney.
First Steps After Abuse Or Neglect Is Suspected
When an individual suspects abuse or neglect is taking place, they should contact an attorney as quickly as possible. Speaking with the facility or the caregiver will not help the situation because they can alter records, and attempt to hide any evidence surrounding the allegation. It’s important to gather as much information as possible and document everything.
Legal Process Of Addressing Abuse Or Neglect
When nursing home neglect or abuse is suspected, an investigation can be initiated by an adult protective services agency. In addition to the agency conducting an investigation, a civil lawsuit can be filed and criminal prosecution might take place as well. Each proceeding uses different personnel and also have different objectives. An investigation by a protective agency is to immediately help a victim and prevent further harm, while a lawsuit is to help a patient or their family receive financial compensation for their injuries.
Hiring an experienced attorney to represent your abused or neglected loved one is very important. An attorney can provide a free consultation to discuss the case, and provide the legal guidance you need.