Answers to Our Frequently Asked Questions

When you are involved in an accident or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice or abuse, you may not even know the right questions to ask at first. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to see what others have asked and read our answers to learn all you can about your case.

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  • I’m involved in a mesothelioma clinical trial. Can I still file a lawsuit?

    Yes, you can still file a mesothelioma case, even while you're part of a clinical trial.

    For example, in August 2018, the National Cancer Institute supported 34 different clinical trials for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The outcome of these trials is currently unknown. However, the goal of each trial is to either improve a mesothelioma sufferer’s quality of life or to extend it.

    How a Clinical Trial Impacts a Mesothelioma Case

    clinical trial mesothelioma Neblett Beard and ArsenaultWhether or not you're involved in a clinical trial, your mesothelioma financial recovery is based on your unique damages.

    Specifically, you may be able to recover financial damages for your medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering. In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.
     

    The results of participating in clinical trial may impact the calculation of your damages, but it doesn't prevent you from filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, or recovering damages for the significant illness you've suffered.

    Protect Your Legal Rights

    You deserve the latest medical treatment and to make a fair legal recovery for cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Whether or not you're part of a clinical trial, our mesothelioma lawyers are ready to help pursue just compensation for your illness.

    Please contact us today to learn more about your rights and aspects of potential recovery during a free consultation. You won't have to worry about legal fees during your case. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis—this means you won’t owe any money up front. Instead, we receive a percentage of your compensation after we win your case.  

    Therefore, neither financial concerns nor clinical trial participation should prevent you from seeking justice and getting the fair recovery you deserve.

    Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.

     

  • When is weight loss a sign of nursing home neglect?

    Although weight loss isn't automatically an indication of nursing home neglect, changes in a loved one's weight should always be taken seriously. If you're worried about your loved one, seek a medical evaluation and consult a nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about your legal options. Nursing home neglect Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    How Age-Related Eating Difficulties Lead to Weight Loss

    Cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis are examples of medical conditions that could cause a senior to suddenly lose a noticeable amount of weight. However, nursing home residents who do not suffer from any of these problems still face a number of challenges related to maintaining good nutrition and a healthy body weight. For example:

    • Appetite tends to decrease as people age, especially when they also suffer from depression.
    • Aging affects perception of taste and smell, which makes eating less enjoyable.
    • Medications commonly taken by the elderly may cause gastrointestinal upset.
    • Swallowing disorders caused by dementia or stroke can compromise the ability to eat without choking.
    • Dentures that don't fit properly can make eating foods physically difficult.
    • Cognitive impairments and/or tremors can make it impossible for residents to feed themselves.

    Due to these risk factors, elderly individuals often require a specialized diet and extra attention to make sure they are eating properly. When they do not receive the attention they need, malnutrition can result.

    Signs of Malnutrition

    Aside from visible weight loss, signs of malnutrition include:

    • Thinning hair 
    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Bruising easily
    • Confusion
    • Sunken eyes
    • Headaches
    • Low blood pressure
    • Rapid breathing
    • Increased heartbeat
    • Decreased urine output
    • Dark urine
    • Minor wounds that seem to take a long time to heal

    Malnutrition is dangerous because it can decrease the effectiveness of the immune system, making an elderly person vulnerable to illnesses. Malnutrition can also cause weakness that increases the risk of falls and other injuries.

    Malnutrition is often accompanied by dehydration, which can lead to a number of dangerous complications such as seizures, blood clots, kidney failure, and hypovolemic shock. You can tell if a senior is dehydrated by gently pressing on the skin of the forearm or forehead with your index finger and thumb. Skin that maintains a pinched appearance instead of returning to normal momentarily indicates the person is dehydrated.

    How Weight Loss Is Linked to Nursing Home Neglect

    Weight loss can be linked to nursing home neglect in several ways. For example:

    • A facility with high turnover may have staff members who do not know a resident's specific dietary requirements.
    • Understaffing may leave a resident who is unable to self-feed without the necessary assistance.
    • Improper training can cause staff to ignore the signs of malnutrition or to be unsure of how to coax someone to eat.
    • Frustrated or overworked staff members may cut corners and not allow enough time for a resident to eat properly.

    Ideally, a nursing assistant should be responsible for no more than three residents during mealtimes. However, since there are no federal laws that set minimum staffing requirements for nurses' aides, it's not uncommon for a single individual to supervise as many as 15 residents during mealtime.

    Protecting Your Loved One

    If you believe your loved one's weight loss indicates improper care, you should first discuss your concerns with the facility administrators. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, seek an independent medical exam, and contact a nursing home abuse attorney to learn how to protect your loved one's legal rights.

    A nursing home abuse claim is a type of civil action that allows you to seek compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse, as well as any pain and suffering your loved one has experienced due to the actions of his caregivers. If your loved one has died due to malnutrition linked to improper care, you can seek wrongful death compensation for medical expenses up to the time of death, pain and suffering, and funeral and burial costs. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's award-winning legal team is dedicated to helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their elderly loved ones who have been harmed by nursing home neglect. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • Are mesothelioma lawsuits class actions or individual cases?

    mesothelioma lawsuit Neblett Beard and ArsenaultMesothelioma lawsuits are individual cases. In 1997, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a prior ruling of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding mesothelioma class action cases.

    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that asbestos litigation shouldn't be class action litigation because not everyone who is exposed to asbestos:

    • Is exposed to asbestos in the same way.
    • Is exposed to the same asbestos products.
    • Develops the same diseases or health conditions from the asbestos exposure.

    The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Third Circuit Court’s decision in the case of Amchem Products Inc. v. Windsor.

    Benefits of Individual Mesothelioma Lawsuits

    An individual mesothelioma lawsuit has its advantages, and shouldn't be seen as a deterrent to filing a mesothelioma case. Specifically, an individual case:

    May get to trial faster than a class action case

    Class actions, by definition, involve many people, which can slow down the decision making process in a case, sometimes by months or even years.

    May result in a greater recovery

    This estimation is based solely on your personal damages, not an overall average of everybody involved in a class action lawsuit. 

    You may also benefit from your lawyer’s personalized attention to your claim.

    How an Individual Mesothelioma Lawsuit Works

    If you have mesothelioma, or a loved one recently died from mesothelioma, then you may be able to bring an individual lawsuit. While individual mesothelioma cases can result in significant recoveries, they may also be complicated to resolve.

    However, you don’t have to file your case or handle the litigation alone. Instead, you have the right to work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Our attorneys know understand these complex cases, and we're committed to fighting for our clients' personal recoveries.

    To learn more, please download our free guide, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights. Also, please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. At this meeting, we can discuss your rights and review the process of building a mesothelioma case.

    If we decide to work together, you won’t owe us any legal fees until after your claim has settled. Then, we'll receive a fee based upon a percentage of your recovery that we agree to in advance. There aren't any upfront costs required to get the legal help that you deserve.

     

  • What is premises liability?

    If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may encounter a number of unfamiliar terms as you seek compensation for your injuries. One of these terms is premises liability, which refers to determining if a property owner is legally responsible for an accident.

    Premises liability laws require property owners to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to others. This includes fixing issues that are known safety hazards or providing warning signs indicating potentially unsafe conditions. Premises liability and slip and falls Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    Standard of Reasonableness

    Premises liability rests heavily on the standard of reasonableness. Some actions that are typically determined to be reasonable precautions a property owner must take include:

    • Using a wet floor sign to warn people of spills
    • Fixing ripped carpet or tile
    • Having handrails on stairs
    • Providing appropriate lighting
    • Clearing debris from a walkway

    Building codes can provide a starting point for determining what constitutes reasonable actions for a property owner, but the absence of a building code violation doesn't necessarily mean all appropriate precautions have been taken.

    Status of the Injured Party

    Premises liability classifies injured people in four different ways:

    Invitee 

    Someone who has a general invitation to be on the property such as a customer in a supermarket or retail store.

    Licensee 

    Someone entering the property for his own purposes but at the implied consent of the owner—such as a repair person or someone delivering a package.

    Social guest

    A welcome visitor to the property such as a friend who frequently stops by for visits.

    Trespasser 

    Someone with no authority or legal right to be on the property.

    Under Louisiana law, trespassers are not entitled to compensation for injuries they have suffered. However, the attractive nuisance doctrine carves out an exception for children who are trespassing but unable to understand the risk involved. The attractive nuisance doctrine most often applies to injuries caused by uncovered swimming pools and open pits.

    Comparative Fault

    Premises liability is subject to comparative fault, which means a defendant's ability to recover damages is proportionally reduced if he contributed to the accident by carelessness, recklessness, or inattention. It is assumed that adults have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to ensure their own safety. However, in cases involving injured children, a child is only expected to take age appropriate safety precautions.

    Special Issues Involving Landlords

    Premises liability law becomes significantly more complex when injuries occur on property that is owned by one party and leased by another. Landlords can be held liable for injuries only if they were caused by safety hazards the landlord knew about and failed to fix within a reasonable timeframe. If the tenant failed to report the hazard or took actions that created the hazard, the landlord is likely not liable.

    How Premises Liability Affects the Right to Compensation

    Premises liability law allows injured persons to receive compensation via a personal injury claim if they can prove the following:

    1. There was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property.
    2. The property owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition.
    3. Their injuries occurred because of the property's dangerous condition.

    Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim from a slip and fall accident. A personal injury claim can include compensation for:

    • Immediate medical needs such as emergency room care, surgery, and hospital stays 
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability
    • Lost wages while recovering from injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability affecting the ability to return to work
    • Pain and suffering, including physical pain and emotional stress or trauma

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How soon after asbestos exposure can I file a lawsuit?

    While it has been known for many years that exposure to asbestos can cause deadly cancer, you cannot sue an employer or manufacturer for simply exposing you to asbestos—at least, you can’t sue for personal injury damages. If you are eventually diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you will then have the right to seek compensation for your illness from the party responsible for your exposure.

    The Right Time to File an Asbestos Lawsuit

    It can take many years for mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer to develop after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace or by living with someone who brought home the deadly fibers. Mesothelioma symptoms may not develop for 15 to 70 years after exposure, making it difficult to trace when and where the exposure occurred. However, once you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, the statute of limitations will begin to run. The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit varies from state to state, but is generally two or three years. In Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and California, however, you will only have one year from the date of your diagnosis to file a claim.

    Be Prepared to Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos

    While you may not be able to file a lawsuit immediately after asbestos exposure, there are two important things you can do as soon as you know you have been exposed to asbestos. First, you can talk to your doctor about medical monitoring so that any asbestos-related illness is detected early and treated quickly. Second, you can browse this website and read our free book, Your Guide to Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights, to learn more about protecting your legal rights if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis.

    If you have been diagnosed with one of these diseases, please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.303 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t owe us any upfront legal fees until and unless your claim is successfully settled. We certainly hope you never develop an asbestos-related health condition. However, if you or a loved one is affected, our law firm is here to help you,no matter where you live.

  • Can I sue the company that manufactured products made from asbestos if the company is now bankrupt?

    You may still be able to file a claim and pursue a fair recovery even if the company that manufactured products made from asbestos and exposed you is now bankrupt. However, the rules for pursuing a claim may be different than they typically are in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights and to work with a mesothelioma attorney who is going to fight for your fair and just recovery. Mesothelioma compensation from trust funds NBA Law Firm

    Asbestos Trust Funds

    Many manufacturers of products made with asbestos seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 requires companies to submit reorganization plans. For many of these companies, trust funds to compensate people who develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related health conditions are a required part of that plan.

    Trust fund claimants may be former employees of the now bankrupt company, or they may have been exposed to the products made with asbestos without being employees. For example, the now bankrupt company may have made a piece of equipment or a product that the claimant worked with as an employee for another company, or the claimant may have been exposed to asbestos because he lived with someone who worked with the product containing the asbestos.  

    Once the trust fund is established, it is managed by trustees who authorize payments to individuals who make claims. Most trusts have a schedule of payments that explain how much should be paid out to a claimant with an asbestos-related illness.

    To make a recovery from an asbestos trust fund, a claimant must typically file a written statement and give supporting evidence to prove where and when he was exposed to asbestos and what medical condition he has developed because of the asbestos exposure.

    Asbestos settlement trust funds have paid out billions of dollars to millions of claimants since the late 1980s. Yet, some trust funds are underfunded, and deserving claimants may only receive a small percentage of the recoveries they deserve.

    Protect Your Recovery: Hire an Experienced Asbestos Injury Lawyer

    You will need to provide convincing evidence and strong arguments to make a fair recovery from an asbestos trust fund. Our lawyers can gather the necessary evidence and negotiate with those managing the trust fund while you continue to focus on your health and your loved ones.

    To learn more about how we can help you get a fair asbestos trust fund recovery , please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If we take your case, you will not owe us any upfront legal fees. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, and our fee will be an agreed upon percentage of your settlement. You can also learn more about your rights by downloading a free copy of our book, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.

     

  • How does vocational rehabilitation affect workers' compensation benefits?

    In most cases, people who are injured at work fully recover and are able to return to their original positions within a relatively short time frame. However, in cases involving severe or disabling injuries, vocational rehabilitation services are part of your workers' compensation benefits. Alexandria Workers Comp Lawyer Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    Meeting With a Vocational Rehabilitation Expert

    The services of a vocational rehabilitation expert can be requested by your employer if it appears you might not be able to return to your current position due to your injury. You may also initiate the process, if you choose to do so. The vocational rehabilitation expert is selected, hired, and paid for by the workers' compensation insurance company.

    The expert will meet with you to discuss the extent of your work experience, your education, and what types of tasks you are able to perform. She will be asked to provide testimony as an expert witness for the insurance company with the goal of showing the Louisiana Office of Workers' Compensation Court that you are capable of returning to work.

    If you refuse a meeting with the vocational rehabilitation expert when it is requested by your employer, the penalty is quite severe. There will be a 50% reduction in your weekly compensation, including supplemental earnings benefits, for each week of the period of refusal.

    Goal of Vocational Rehabilitation

    Vocational rehabilitation services vary depending on your skills, past employment, and the nature of your injury. However, the goal is always to get you back to work as quickly as possible with a minimum amount of retraining.

    Getting back to work may mean:

    • Returning to a modified position
    • Returning to a related occupation suitable for your skills and education
    • On-the-job training
    • Short-term retraining of less than 26 weeks
    • Long-term retraining of more than 26 weeks but less than one year
    • Self-employment

    Louisiana's vocational rehabilitation program requires that the first appropriate option be selected for each worker. This means, you will not be allowed to pursue retraining programs unless a modified position, related occupation, and on-the-job training have been determined to be unsuitable.

    Due to the cost and time involved, it is very rare for workers' compensation to pay for even short-term retraining programs. If it appears that training is the best option, however, a program offered close to your home will be the first choice. If there is no program close to your home, your employer or the workers' compensation insurer must pay for reasonable cost of board, lodging, and necessary travel.

    Determining the Existence of a Suitable Job

    One commonly misunderstood aspect of vocational rehabilitation services in Louisiana is that the insurer does not need to actually find you a job to fulfill its obligations. All that is required is proof of the existence of a job that fits your physical capabilities and is located within a reasonable geographic distance. If you receive notification of the position opening and its wages, your cooperation or participation in the process is irrelevant.

    However, the law does not require that a suitable job means it suits your interests and personal preferences. You may be told to seek employment with a schedule that doesn't fit your needs or that involves a type of work you have no desire to do.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    Your meeting with a vocational rehabilitation expert is a vital part of your workers' compensation claim. If this contact is handled poorly, you may have your benefits terminated or reduced even though you are unable to return to your pre-injury job and have no new job offers.

    Working with an experienced workers' compensation attorney ensures that your rights are protected throughout the process of resolving your claim. Your attorney can explain how to prepare for the meeting with the vocational rehabilitation expert to improve the chances of continuing your disability benefits and receiving genuine assistance finding a suitable new job that accommodates your disability.

    Have You Been Injured On The Job In Louisiana?

    If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced work injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What is a workers' compensation lien?

    Louisiana's workers' compensation law protects most full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers beginning on their first day of employment. However, if you are eligible to file both a personal injury claim and workers' compensation claim for your work-related injury, there may be a lien on a portion of the personal injury settlement you receive.

    About Workers' Compensation Liens  Alexandria Workers Comp Lawyer Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    Typically, you are not allowed to file a personal injury claim and a workers' compensation claim for the same injury. However, if the personal injury claim is against a third party involved in your accident, you may be able to take both types of action.

    Some examples of cases where a workers' compensation lien may be involved include:

    • You are injured in a work-related car accident that is the fault of a third party driver.
    • You are a delivery person or contractor who is bit by a dog while working on a private party's property.
    • You are visiting a client and sustain injuries in a slip and fall accident caused by a building code violation or an improperly cleaned spill on the floor.

    Since you're not allowed to profit from seeking workers' compensation benefits, the workers’ compensation insurer may place a lien on a portion of your personal injury settlement, so the company can be reimbursed for expenses previously paid on your behalf. For example, if you break your arm and require surgery that the workers' compensation insurer paid for, the company may require reimbursement for this expense from any personal injury settlement you eventually receive. This prevents what is referred to as a double recovery.

    The legal process of allowing an insurance company to make a claim against a third party to recover benefits it paid to the insured party is known as subrogation.

    Compensation for Pain and Suffering

    The primary benefit of pursuing both types of legal claims is that a personal injury claim can include compensation for your pain and suffering damages—including both physical pain and emotional trauma. Workers' compensation only pays for medical expenses and lost wages.

    A workers' compensation lien will not affect any pain and suffering compensation you are eligible to receive. Since pain and suffering is most often calculated using a multiplier method that increases with the severity of your injuries, this can be a significant portion of the settlement if you've been left with some form of permanent disability.

    Sharing Legal Fees and Negotiating Lien Amounts

    If there is a workers' compensation lien on a portion of the pending personal injury settlement, the insurance company will be required to share in a portion of your legal expenses. A personal injury attorney typically works on a contingency fee basis, requiring a percentage of the final settlement as the fee for service. To take this into consideration, the insurer will often ask for two-thirds of the value of their payment to account for your legal fees.

    In some cases, a worker's compensation lien may be high enough that your third-party personal injury claim would result in little benefit to you even after legal fees are taken into consideration. To avoid providing a disincentive to litigate, insurers will sometimes negotiate the amount of the lien to require less than the full value they'd otherwise be entitled to receive.

    How a Lien Affects Your Ability to Settle a Personal Injury Claim

    When there is a workers' compensation lien on your pending personal injury claim, Louisiana law does not allow you to accept a settlement without the insurer's approval. If you do so, you may be forfeiting rights to future benefits.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    Although you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits even if you choose to forgo legal representation, hiring an experienced workers' compensation attorney is the best way to protect your right to fair compensation. Louisiana workers' compensation law is quite complex, especially when your case involves a lien against a future personal injury settlement.

    Have You Been Injured On The Job In Louisiana?

    If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced work injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What evidence is needed to pursue a mesothelioma case?

    Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure, and for many people, that exposure occurred at work. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want to file a claim against a past employer, there is specific evidence you need to help prove your case.  Evidence needed in a mesothelioma case Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    A Successful Mesothelioma Claim Requires Evidence

    To help ensure that you receive fair compensation for a mesothelioma case, you need evidence that shows where you were exposed to asbestos, how you were exposed, and when. To get this evidence, your lawyer will ask you detailed questions about your previous jobs and the jobs of people you lived with. This often helps narrow down the potential defendants and guide the search for evidence. Then, through the legal discovery process, your attorney will search for more information by:

    • Looking at employment and Social Security records
    • Using deposition testimony
    • Using written interrogatories
    • Using requests for production of documents

    These legal discovery tools may be used to gather relevant information from your employer, the employer of someone you lived with, other people who worked for the employer, and companies that provided equipment, goods, parts, or other materials to the employer. Together, the information that is gathered may establish the timeframe for your asbestos exposure and help prove your claim.

    Getting the Evidence You Need for a Mesothelioma Case

    The legal discovery tools are regulated by the state’s rules of civil procedure. Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers know how to get the information you need to help prove your claim and to get the recovery you deserve. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to meet with us, and if you choose us to represent you, you won’t owe any legal fees until your claim has been successfully settled or resolved in court.

    To learn more, please contact us, or download a free copy of our book, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.

     

  • What are OBRA standards, and how do they relate to my case?

    Many different types of evidence can be used in a claim for nursing home abuse, including violations of OBRA standards. Retaining an attorney is the best way to learn what type of evidence will help you build a solid claim for compensation.  Standards for nursing home care Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    About OBRA​

    The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), also known as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, is federal legislation that sets standards for nursing home care and is interpreted within the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483). The legislation was signed on December 22, 1987 by President Ronald Reagan after the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging conducted extensive investigations into the quality of care seniors were receiving in long-term care facilities across the country.

    The law's impact was seen immediately. Facilities were required to eliminate physical or chemical restraints unless they were medically necessary, avoid the routine prescribing of antidepressants, and improve monitoring of medication therapy.

    Today, individual states are responsible for certifying that their nursing homes meet OBRA criteria. To certify facilities, states must conduct extensive surveys no more than 15 months apart that include multiple resident interviews. If a specific complaint has been filed against a facility, a targeted survey must be conducted as part of the investigation.

    Nursing homes that don't meet OBRA standards aren't allowed to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. They also face heavy fines, the appointment of temporarily assigned facility managers, or the permanent closure of their facilities. Specific penalties are determined by the nature and severity of the violation. In some cases, facilities are given a chance to correct the issue before a penalty is assessed.

    Key OBRA Guidelines for Nursing Home Care

    The most essential parts of OBRA guidelines are sometimes described as a Resident's Bill of Rights. Key points include:

    • Create comprehensive care plans for each resident's unique needs upon admission, then update plans periodically
    • Respect the dignity of each resident, regardless of mental or physical limitations
    • Allow residents reasonable personal privacy
    • Let residents communicate freely and voice grievances without fear of reprisal or discrimination
    • Provide services that enhance each resident's quality of life to the fullest extent possible
    • Allow residents the right to choose appropriate schedules, activities, and healthcare services

    Some of the specific requirements that related to potential claims of nursing home abuse include:

    • Provide balanced meals that maintain good nutrition and a healthy weight
    • Promote fluid intake to prevent dehydration
    • Take steps to prevent pressure sores, and properly treat any sores that do develop
    • Provide grooming and personal hygiene services as needed
    • Provide appropriate care to residents with urinary incontinence, but restore bladder function if possible
    • Take steps to prevent falls, poisonings, and other accidental injuries
    • Allow residents to use assistive devices as needed
    • Take steps to prevent significant medication errors
    • Keep complete, accurate, and easily accessible clinical records
    • Have the nursing staff at levels sufficient to meet care needs
    • Allow residents to safely bank funds for personal use

    Using OBRA Violations to Support a Claim for Nursing Home Abuse

    OBRA outlines the minimum level of accepted care for nursing home residents. If a nursing home violates OBRA standards and this violation is linked to your loved one's injuries, you have a valid nursing home abuse claim.

    In this type of civil action, you can seek compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse and any pain and suffering your loved one has experienced. If your loved one has died due to improper care, you can seek wrongful death compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering up to the time of death, as well as funeral and burial costs. Punitive damages may also be available, depending on the circumstances.

    Retaining legal representation is the best way to protect your loved one's rights throughout the process of resolving your claim. The award-winning attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are dedicated to helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their loved ones who have been harmed by nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.