Nursing home negligence is unfortunately common. If you are a nursing home resident, or you have entrusted the care of a loved one to a nursing home, you expect and are entitled to receive good care.
Nursing homes have a legal obligation under both state and federal law to ensure that their residents have all the necessities of life. These include food, water, shelter, medication, hygiene, clothing, safety, and comfort. However, nursing homes often don’t perform their legally required duties, especially when the houses are understaffed or overcrowded.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Common signs of neglect include bed sores, depression or other psychological distress, poor personal hygiene, unclean living spaces, dehydration, malnutrition, physical deterioration, increased impairment, and, in extreme cases, death.
What to Do If You Suspect Neglect
If you suspect that the nursing home is neglecting your loved one, there are several factors to consider and steps you should take.
Talk to the nursing home’s manager. Consider filing a nursing home negligence lawsuit if the situation does not improve.
If possible, move your loved one somewhere else – to another nursing home, a hospital, or a relative’s home.
Take written notes on any signs of neglect or physical or emotional abuse you observe. Take pictures of any inadequate conditions in your loved one’s living area.
Request your loved one’s records. This can include medical records and other documentation of care from the nursing home. Also, be sure to request your loved one’s care plan. The nursing home is required under Maine law to provide a care plan to the state and your loved one’s next of kin.
Encourage your loved one to speak to a qualified lawyer. If your loved one has been injured because of negligent nursing home conduct, invite them to speak to an attorney. Our attorneys are standing by to answer their questions to determine if the negligent conduct of the nursing home rises to the level required to file a lawsuit. Nursing home negligence lawyers can help gather evidence to prove your loved one was neglected and file a case holding the nursing home accountable for the harm it has done and seeking compensation for you or your loved one.
Consider helping your loved one file. Most of the time, a nursing home resident cannot handle a lawsuit on his or her own, and it’s the family members, typically the spouse or children, who help sue the nursing home for negligence on their loved one’s behalf.
Pursue a wrongful death claim if needed. Suppose your loved one has died from nursing home negligence. In that case, you, another family member, or a representative of the estate may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the nursing home for the loss of your loved one and the loved one’s medical expenses and pain and suffering before he or she died.
Be aware of what lawsuit compensation may include. When suing a nursing home for negligence, damages may include compensation for medical costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of quality of life, permanent injury, and even wrongful death. While the amount you may receive will depend on the particular details of your case, compensation in nursing home negligence lawsuits is often substantial, reflecting the severe harm done to nursing home residents.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Garmey Law
The nursing home negligence lawyers at Garmey Law are dedicated to standing up for the rights and dignity of residents in the face of horrendous nursing home neglect and abuse. Call us at (207) 481-4683 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your loved one.