Decatur nursing home abuse lawyers
When an individual is unable to take care of him or herself, it may be necessary to live in an elder care facility. The type of care a person receives generally depends on his or her mental and physical capabilities. However, it is possible for a nursing home resident to become the victim of abuse. Let’s take a look at what nursing home abuse is, what can be done to stop it and how an attorney can help.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take many forms such as failing to feed an individual, isolating that person from family members and not doing enough to prevent infection. Those who are not allowed to see a doctor in a timely manner or who are forced to submit to sex acts are also being abused.
What Can Be Done to Stop Nursing Home Abuse?
Adult children or other members of an elderly person’s family should research their options before settling on a nursing home. If there are any complaints levied against a particular home on an online forum, in a magazine or anywhere else, do not put your parent or loved one in that facility. Furthermore, you should insist on taking a tour of a facility prior to allowing an elderly family member from living there.
After your parent, grandparent or other loved one enters the home, make some surprise visits. Generally speaking, a reputable nursing home will encourage you to stop by whenever you want as it is good for the resident. It also shows that the facility has nothing to hide. You can also put a camera in your family member’s room if you suspect that abuse is taking place.
If your loved one claims that he or she is being abused, take the allegation seriously. Even if you find that nothing inappropriate is taking place, you will have peace of mind that comes with knowing that a parent or grandparent is safe. If you do find that something inappropriate is going on, steps can then be taken to hold the perpetrator of that abuse responsible for their actions.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney may be able to review the contract that you signed when putting your family member in a facility. In some cases, you may have signed a mandatory arbitration clause that requires the case to be heard before an arbiter. While this could limit your legal options, it doesn’t mean that you can’t win compensation or other relief on behalf of your loved one.
Furthermore, it is possible that the agreement will be declared invalid by a judge. If you didn’t sign any agreement requiring cases to be resolved in arbitration, the case could be settled outside of court. This would allow you to obtain a financial award while the nursing home doesn’t have to admit guilt publicly. While this may not be ideal in terms of stopping the behavior from happening again, it can be a measure of justice for your family.
An attorney may also be able to represent you and your elderly family member in court if a case goes to trial. Your legal counsel may be able to have lab tests conducted or solicit the testimony of an expert witness to bolster your case against the nursing home. Unlike arbitration or a negotiated settlement, the results of a trial are available to the public.
If you believe that your parent or other family member is the victim of nursing home abuse, don’t wait to put a stop to it. Take steps now to ensure the safety of those you love both now and in the future. Talking with an attorney may help you learn more about your legal options as it relates to holding the nursing home responsible for what it may have done.