Taking a Stand Against Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Ensuring the care and safety of the aging population should be of the utmost importance; however, as our nursing home abuse lawyer knows, when elderly loved ones are placed in nursing homes, they may be susceptible to abuse from their caregivers. Unfortunately, instances of nursing home abuse, a despicable and grievous issue, are regrettably becoming more common. It’s vital to know that legal remedies are available to victims and their families to combat this horrendous issue. As Glotzer & Leib, LLP will share, nursing home abuse can occur in many forms – physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglect. In the wake of such abuse, residents and their families can seek legal recourse to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent similar future instances.
The following are options available for situations involving nursing home abuse:
Reporting to Law Enforcement Agencies
When the nursing home resident is in immediate danger or severe abuse is evident, it’s essential to call local law enforcement immediately. Any assault or abuse is a crime, and perpetrators can be prosecuted under criminal law. This step ensures immediate safety and initiates the criminal justice process against the abuser.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit
Victims of nursing home abuse can also seek compensation for the harm inflicted upon them through a civil lawsuit. This lawsuit can be filed against individual abusers or the nursing home itself, especially when the abuse has resulted from the nursing home’s negligence, such as poor staffing, inadequate training, or failure to protect residents from harm.
In these civil suits, victims can demand compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages in severe cases. It is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer with intimate knowledge of elder abuse cases to guide you through this process and ensure your rights are protected.
Reporting to State Regulatory Agencies
Each state has a department or agency responsible for licensing and regulating nursing homes. If a nursing home violates standards of care, you can file a complaint with this agency. These regulatory bodies can enforce penalties, including fines or revoking the nursing home’s license if a pattern of abuse or neglect is found.
Elder Protection Services
Every state in the U.S. has Adult Protective Services (APS) or similar bodies to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults. By reporting abuse to these services, a case worker can be assigned to investigate the matter and take necessary actions, such as providing emergency shelter, counseling, or initiating legal proceedings if needed.
Engaging in Elder Mediation
In some cases, elder mediation can be a viable option. This involves a neutral third-party mediator who helps to resolve the dispute. While this does not replace the need for legal action in severe abuse cases, it can be a helpful tool for resolving less severe issues and fostering better communication and understanding.
Nursing home abuse is a grave issue that demands serious attention. Understanding the legal options is the first step towards seeking justice and ensuring the safety and dignity of our elders. If you suspect nursing home abuse, take immediate action. Consult with a legal professional, document all evidence, and remember, you are not alone. The law provides numerous paths for recourse and protecting our most vulnerable. Remember, silence only perpetuates such atrocities. Your actions can secure justice for your loved ones and contribute to a broader societal shift against the prevalence of nursing home abuse.