Do I Have a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
Find out if you have a nursing home abuse case and whether mistreatment of your loved one may violate duty of care, state or federal laws, or laws against elder abuse.
Civil action as a result of abuse in a nursing home or an assisted living facility can stem from a number of different causes and can be quite varied. Some examples, which are certainly not inclusive, are: physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse. In addition, financial exploitation and fraud could be involved.
The staff of nursing homes has many duties that are legally required. Failure to follow these or following these incorrectly could result in a nursing home abuse case. Also, errors by omission (not performing a required duty) could also apply, such as failing to follow standards of normal care, causing malnutrition, dehydration, or allowing a patient to wander off the property. State laws define the age of the victim for elderly abuse and can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. These generally fall between 60 to 65 years of age.
Federal law may also come into play in this area. Federal statutes require that residents be protected from mental, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse if they are residents of a nursing home. Also, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA) is a federal law that requires residents to be kept safe if the facility receives any funds from Medicare or Medicaid. Supplementing this legal protection are often laws or ordinances from local jurisdictions, the county, and state laws that may offer extra security for the patients. If the business you are dealing with is an assisted living facility, state and local laws will apply, however federal protection does not yet exist.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are often owned by giant corporations which have staffs of lawyers to protect them. Multiple structures involving corporations are often used to hide assets. Because of this battle between the underdog and the colossus corporation, specialized legal help is probably required to help you navigate the legal system concerning a possible claim. An attorney who practices in this area should be well aware of the pitfalls in assessing those types of situations. This nursing home abuse attorney and his or her firm can also advise you concerning a class action suit, if it is appropriate. They will also have the means and the professional support to collect any further evidence that is necessary.