When old age catches up with our loved ones, sometimes the best option is to move them to a nursing home, especially if you cannot take care of them. However, some older adults suffer negligence and abuse in nursing homes, resulting in physical or psychological harm. When this happens, contact a nursing home negligence attorney, such as The Nail Law Firm in Kansas City, MO.
An experienced nursing home negligence attorney is well versed in the patterns of nursing home malpractice. When an injury occurs to a loved one in a nursing home, identifying the precise cause is essential. More often than not, the facilities cover up the facts surrounding these injuries when they happen. A proficient attorney will help you uncover the negligence and malpractice, leaving no stone unturned. The lawyer will also advise if you have a case or not and help you pursue the best action.
9 Reasons to Hire a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
1. The Attorney Safeguards Your Rights
Nursing homes often have complex methods of handling neglect complaints, which could take years to pursue. In most cases, they will refute claims of negligence to protect business interests. The facility may also refute your complaint and even engage their lawyers to challenge you in court. Facing the lawsuit on your own can be demanding and stressful. A proficient attorney will stand by your side and fight to protect your interests against the facility.
2. Each Claim Is Unique
You may have come across online sources that provide information about previous nursing home negligence claims. However, neglect claims are not alike, and each case is distinct. Evidence required to validate a claim is different for each case. Additionally, the negligence complexity differs in every claim, and there is no standard formula for determining compensation. A professional attorney knows how to handle each case for the best outcome.
3. Guidance on Timelines
The complainant has three years from the date of neglect or from when effects are discovered – which should be within six years after the abuse incident – to file a case. Failure to observe this timeline will void your claim. It is crucial to hire an attorney to handle the suit in time to avoid such a situation.
4. Negligence Claims Are Complicated
Though the negligence claim might look straightforward, complex legal issues can arise during the lawsuit. In such a case, a lack of knowledge of the complex legal systems involved can hinder your case. A well-informed lawyer will guide you throughout the process, increasing the chances of you getting the justice you deserve. The attorney can answer all your queries, evaluate possibilities, and apply valuable tactics to your case.
5. Proper Case Evaluation Benefits
An experienced nursing home lawyer will help you with an initial evaluation. The evaluation stage is a preparation for the lengthy lawsuit process and involves two steps; client consultation and investigations. In this step, your attorney inquires about the neglect and precise details of what transpired. This information is then analyzed, applying state and federal regulations, and applies standards of care to establish if a lawsuit is viable.
6. Effective Evidence Gathering
Satisfactory evidence must be provided for a successful lawsuit. Evidence collection can be tedious, particularly if the nursing facility or its insurance company tries to cover up crucial details or prevent access to the required documents. A competent lawyer helps you gather all the necessary evidence to validate your claim. The attorney will interview the witnesses and ask former employees about the facility’s culture.
Medical and financial records might also be requested, depending on the claim.
7. Negotiation Skills
Once evidence is satisfactory and investigations are complete, the lawyer will help you file a formal complaint against the nursing facility. They will write the facility a demand letter defining the negligence and claim compensation for the outlined mistreatment. If the nursing home is willing to cooperate, the attorney will initiate negotiations on your behalf.
The possibility of settling your claim at this stage depends on how strong the case is, the amount and type of evidence gathered, and the facility’s cooperation.
8. Undertakes Trial
The attorney will file a lawsuit against the nursing home if negotiations are not successful. Additionally, a court case might be the best option if the timeline for filing a claim (statute of limitation) is close to expiring. An experienced lawyer knows how to build the legal proceeding so that the court will comprehend the complexity of the neglect, the impact of the mistreatment, and the medical issues involved.
9. Constructive Discovery Phase
The discovery phase commences once your attorney files the lawsuit in a court of law. It involves collecting pre-trial data such as witnesses’ statements. If some essential documents were not accessible through the evidence-gathering stage, the lawyer issues subpoenas for their retrieval during the discovery phase. They might also refer to a medical consultant to prepare sufficient persuasion that the nursing home’s staff was the cause of injury.
Common Nursing Home Negligence Practice
Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers, often occur due to inadequate medical care. In most cases, they result from the nursing home staff’s failure to observe set protocols, such as failure to turn a patient at the recommended intervals and not discharging pressure points on a person’s skin. Although nursing facilities have bed sores prevention measures, their staff often ignore the protocols.
The facility personnel are insufficient or incompetent in some cases.
Falls Due to Negligence
Negligence is the primary cause of falls in nursing homes. Sick or unstable patients may leave their beds due to improper supervision. Others fall from their beds due to faulty bed rails and restraints. In some instances, patients suffering from memory loss leave the nursing facility when left unsupervised. Most falls in these facilities are avoidable with proper supervision measures.
Unskilled or Insufficient Staff
Due to the nursing home patients’ delicate nature, their personnel should be highly competent and sufficient to cater to each patient effectively. However, some facilities have one nurse serving multiple patients, and often more patients than a single nurse can reasonably be expected to handle. Lack of competent nurses makes it challenging to take care of all patients needing assistance. Some facilities even leave the responsibility for care to unskilled support staff in a bid to save costs.
Failure to observe a patient’s nutrition demands can cause severe health issues or even death. Most residents require special diets, and giving them food they cannot tolerate can be fatal. Cases of incorrect hydration of patients and patients choking from poorly prepared food due to lack of supervision are not uncommon in nursing home malpractice.
Get an Attorney
If your loved one has sustained injuries due to the nursing home staff’s negligence, you can hold the facility accountable. Though hiring a nursing home negligence attorney to pursue legal action might not reverse the distress your elder loved one has undergone, the compensation will enable you to seek better health care for them. It might also influence change in the nursing facility, protecting other patients from negligence. Contact The Nail Law Firm in Kansas City, MO, for expert nursing home negligence attorneys.