The Dos & Don’ts of Taking Action Against a Nursing Home
Nursing home abuse occurs far more often than most people realize. While it’s reasonable to assume long-term care facilities have their residents’ best interests at heart, that’s unfortunately not always the case.
Some nursing homes are consistently understaffed, for example, leaving their elderly patients to fend for themselves for most of the day. Others fail to conduct comprehensive background checks, exposing vulnerable seniors to employees who may not have the best intentions.
While nursing home abuse shouldn’t occur at all, the families of the victims can take action when it does. Should you intend to sue your loved one’s long-term care facility, keep the following tips in mind, so your claim can get off to a strong start:
1. Do Preserve Evidence of Wrongdoing
Why did you suspect abuse in the first place? Consider the earliest warning signs, and then find a way to record them. Hospital logs and photographs of any visible wounds might help you prove physical abuse, for example, while medical records indicating malnutrition and dehydration could point toward a pattern of neglect.
2. Don’t Let the Facility Assume Control
Upon learning about your family’s concerns, nursing home administrators may offer to help and even insist on handling the matter internally. While you cannot stop them from conducting their own investigation, you should not rely on them to resolve the issue for you.
No matter how sympathetic they might seem, their underlying goal is in direct opposition with your own. Whereas they want to preserve the facility’s reputation and ultimately protect its bottom line, you want justice.
3. Do Prioritize Your Loved One’s Safety
Unless you can be certain the abuse was a one-time incident—if the offender is no longer employed by the nursing home, for example—it’s probably wise to relocate your loved one. Moving them to another facility or back home may be the only way to ensure their safety while your claim is pending.
Doing so will also bolster your case. If you didn’t feel the need to relocate them, the insurance adjuster would probably question how serious the abuse actually was.
4. Don’t Go up Against the Facility Alone
While your family is entitled to proceed without representation, doing so is ill-advised. Medical facilities, including nursing homes, are equipped to challenge every action that comes their way.
Hiring a strategic attorney will help level the playing field. The right lawyer will have the knowledge and resources needed to help you put together a strong claim, so you can seek the maximum payout possible.
Call 561-299-3999 to Discuss Your Case with a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Turn to Donaldson & Weston to see if your family has grounds for a claim against a loved one’s long-term care facility. We have secured more than $100 million from reckless and negligent parties on behalf of our clients. Call 561-299-3999 or fill out our Online Contact Form to set up a free case review with a nursing home abuse lawyer in West Palm Beach.