As someone who practices elder law, I am familiar with how common abuse of seniors really is. While this is something that no one ever wishes on their loved one, it is an unfortunate reality that nursing homes do not always provide the right level of care. The staff can be incredibly conscientious or the staff can be flat-out negligent.
Thus, choosing the right nursing home is critical for the health, safety, and well-being of elderly family members. Unfortunately, even careful vetting can sometimes miss abusive providers. In this scenario, if abuse is in question, the best thing to do is to call an attorney.
Step One: Get Them to Safety
Removing a victim from an abusive situation is absolutely critical. One must complete this process without delay. Naturally, there can be concern over the contract, but this is something that I can handle as the family attorney. First, get the loved one to safety.
If the nursing home is refusing to release the loved one for whatever reason, call my office immediately so that I can step in and begin the process of removing the individual from the home. In some cases, I will need to address issues such as guardianship. We must complete this process through the proper legal channels.
Step Two: Evaluate Damages
As someone practicing elder law, I sometimes encourage patients to file a civil suit in order to seek financial restitution. This can be particularly necessary for a situation where elder abuse forces a senior out of their current living situation into a new one. There are distinct costs associated with a move of this nature. Moving expenses can include:
Cost of hiring movers
Deposit for a new facility
Additional rent costs
In addition to recovering tangible moving expenses, the loved one may also suffer physically and emotionally, requiring medical care and therapy to recover. Money for their care can also be recovered through a lawsuit.
File a Lawsuit
It is possible to file a lawsuit with the help of an elder law attorney. To recover financial damages, it must be established that someone was negligent and caused them harm or injury. This could be a nursing home, individual provider or an in-home caregiver. As long as a person or business was negligent, they can be sued.
To be successful in recovering financial damages, negligence must be proven and this makes it important to hire an attorney that has the resources to do so. Through the lawsuit, it is also possible to recover money for pain and suffering. This is the intangible impact that the abuse has had on the victim and the family.
Pain and suffering is a concept that a jury will be familiar with because there is a way to compensate for the impact of the abuse. This is not something that will ever be recovered through a criminal trial, so when seeking financial compensation is a goal, hiring an attorney to sue in civil court becomes important.
Call for Help
If your loved one has been harmed by the negligence of someone else, call my office and schedule an appointment. As an attorney practicing elder law, I can review what happened and provide suggestions for how to proceed.
Note: This is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.