Nursing Home AbuseWe have successfully represented plaintiffs in civil matters for more than three decades.
In the United States today, there are over thirty-four million people above the age of 65. According to statistics, many will need some form of assisted living, whether it is a nursing home, assisted living facility or other elderly facility. Due to the fact that long-term care for the elderly is typically extremely expensive (well over $5,000 per month in many jurisdictions), the vast majority of residents go through most, if not all, of their assets in a matter of months and then become eligible for federal Medicaid benefits. These benefits cover over 90% of the costs for nursing home residents. As such, almost all nursing home facilities receive Medicaid funds.
Approximately one million senior citizens are abused in some manner every year in the United States.
Nursing home residents have patient rights and certain protections under the law. The nursing home must list and give all new residents a copy of these rights.
Resident rights include, but are not limited to:
- Respect: You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Services and Fees: You must be informed, in writing, about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.
- Money: You have the right to manage your own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.
- Privacy: You have the right to privacy and to keep, and use, your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights, health or safety of others.
- Medical Care: You have the right to be informed about your medical condition, your medications and to see you own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.
Do I Have a Nursing Abuse Case?
There are several common types of injuries that are suffered as a result of recurrent neglect, including:
- Falls and fractures
- Physical or chemical restraints
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Improper, wrong or over-medication
- Bed sores
- Lack of supervision (allowing residents to wander away from the facility)
- Physical abuse or unexplained injury
- Weight gain or loss
- Septic shock
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Theft of money and personal property
- Unexpected or wrongful death
- Unsanitary conditions
- Untrained or insufficient staff
- Substandard medical care
- Poor personal hygiene
- Defective equipment
- Sexual assault
The Federal statute, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or OBRA, 42 USCA 1396 et seq. and 1395 et seq., and its interpretive guidelines, spells out how nursing homes are ultimately responsible for the health, medical care and well-being of their residents. A federal bureau known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) oversees compliance with these regulations. The HCFA enforces guidelines for the evaluation, care and treatment of residents, aimed at maximizing the quality of each resident’s daily life and minimizing abuse and neglect. If substantial compliance is shown, certification of the home is continued and the home can continue to receive government funds such as Medicare/Medicaid. If not, the home may lose its ability to receive these benefits.
Care is expected to improve as nursing homes take steps to prevent injuries and avoid litigation, which is increasing.
What can I do?
Before proceeding with litigation, a review of the medical records is critical. All available family members, friends and witnesses should be interviewed to determine if there is any additional information regarding the elder’s treatment or documents to assist in evaluation. This should include inquiries regarding complaints and/or third party investigations by governmental authorities. Because most victims in nursing home cases are long past the stage of earning wages and often have short life spans, analysis of these cases is are different. Important factors which may impact the amount of damages that may be recovered include the egregiousness of the nursing home’s conduct, whether a pattern of neglect can be shown and/or whether injuries from the nursing home’s negligence can be distinguished from the resident’s existing disease process.
Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty is committed to upholding the quality of care in our long-term care institutions by taking swift legal action to compensate nursing home residents and their families for injuries resulting from neglect, inadequate care or abuse. Attorneys forcing these institutions to treat their residents properly is the only way the quality of care for all residents be assured.
If you feel that you or a loved one have been victimized by neglect, abuse and/or medical malpractice while in the care of a senior citizen facility
Please contact Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty at 614-222-4444 / 877-706-6446. Our initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds on your behalf. You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Contact the Plymale Partnership today.